shoes in heaven



Clothes.  As I hung up the phone I scribbled down a list of what I needed to bring with me.  My head was spinning out of synch with the rest of my body.

Of course.  A set of clothes.  I squinted as the tears fell onto the phone message pad.   What was Dad wearing when he died?  My brother and I had sat with him for the better part of two days waiting for the inevitable and I couldn’t remember what he was wearing.   Slowly moving upstairs to the closet in my daughter’s vacated room, I checked for the sport coat and dress pants that I had placed there over eight years ago.   I managed a smile remembering how Dad’s pants had fallen  to the ground when he stepped out of the car at the cemetery.  My husband and I steadied him,  pulled the pants up,  and tightened his belt.  I quickly looked around but no one seemed to notice.   A few days later we giggled about Dad dropping his pants one last time for Mom.

I brought the clothes downstairs and brushed them off, then headed for the department store.  A crisp white shirt on sale, and it came with a pretty blue paisley tie.  Dad and Mom would approve.  We seldom bought anything that wasn’t on sale.  A new pair of socks, too.

There were no shoes in the boxes and bags of clothing my son had moved home from the nursing home.  Dad had been in a wheelchair; unable to stand or walk for several years so most of the time he wore house slippers or thick socks, stretchy at the top to make it easy to pull over his arthritic feet with twisted toes.  I quickly sent a text message to my best friend, Pat.   She was a minister.  She would know.

Do you need shoes in Heaven?  

Dad doesn’t have any.

 She quickly texted back.

 No, he won’t need them.  He’ll have everything he needs when he gets there.

On the day of the funeral, Dad looked calm, serene.  The sport coat seemed a little big; he had lost weight in the last few weeks of his life.  But he was dressed like he used to dress on Sunday mornings. Except for the shoes.


My Dad passed away March 4, 2014.  He was 92 years old.  We were blessed to have had him with us for so many years.



About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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24 Responses to shoes in heaven

  1. Karen Ward says:

    Ruth, although I knew about your dad’s move from earth to heaven, I hadn’t read this post yet. I just did. I am moved to tears. His lovely character and his good parenting has been in so many of your stories I almost felt as if I knew him. So to wrap my heart around this loss was touching and heartfelt. I so love the words you weave that come so poignantly rich from your own heart.


  2. Lovely post; such a beautiful tribute to your dad.


  3. LB says:

    Ruth, I am so sorry for your loss. My friend reminds me that no matter how well lived a life was, nor how “appropriate” the age of death, it is still the loss of a parent and so difficult. My thoughts are with you. (and I did love the story about the pants).
    You’ve written a lovely post …


  4. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your dad. It is so heart wrenching when our parents pass away.
    Dads are so special- I loved mine to bits.
    I loved your post. It is so full of tenderness and you really took care of your dad to the very end. I’m sure he looked wonderful and as your friend said, he won’t need shoes in heaven. But wouldn’t you just love to know what your mum said to him when he arrived without them 💖 bless you. And thanks for reading my blog.


  5. this is a beautiful series. sadly, I think I may be needing to check back here in the coming months. Our sympathies for the loss of your dear one, xo LMA


  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay strong in your faith.


  7. maesprose says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. You expect it but it’s still such a surprise to the heart.

    When we buried my mother we forgot her shoes when we dropped off the clothing she wore. No one noticed and I think in the end it’s more comfortable that way.


  8. Your story was so touching. I think I love the way you write. It’s funny what we think of when our heart and mind absorbs our losses. You have my sympathy, but I think your dad is in a perfect place running barefoot in the sand. Bless you!


  9. So sorry for your loss, a long life to be missed. Oh but his gain…bet those feet are moving just fine without those shoes!


  10. edebock says:

    So sorry for your loss! Your words spoke volumes to me today. My parents are 90 and 91. We’ve come very close to losing both of them recently and we know that we won’t have them with us much longer.


  11. Diane Thomas says:

    Sorry for your loss. Seven months ago, I took dad’s shoes to him. I was a little embarassed as they were old, but his favorite and very comfortable. Shoes or no shoes everyone is welcomed by Him with open arms.


  12. Nancy Mabrey says:

    My Dad passed away May 2, 2011 at age 92. The day we went to make arrangements, my brother took along some socks he had forgotten to include with the suit, etc. He said, “Here are some socks. He would want these because his feet were always cold.”


  13. grandmalin says:

    Your words capture so much depth of feeling in how we carry on through the sadness. Love and hugs.


  14. pastsmith says:

    He lives on in your genes – you are half him.


  15. Wow, he lived a long live….I dont know him to say whether his life was eventful or not but he had a lot of years on earth; I can only hope. Losing a parent must be hard, but once they get a certain age we must let them go. We must remember that memories are an important part of the brain because we dont live forever. Cherish his life by living the rest of yours to the fullest. All parents ever want is their children to be safe and happy, so make him happy. Thanks for share your story….


  16. I’m sorry for your loss. Nice way to capture the end.


  17. My sincere condolences. I recall having a similar conversation with my Mom when my Dad died (in 2008). He was being cremated and she didn’t know if we should take clothes to the funeral home or not. We agreed it would be more dignified for him to be clothed, and we selected his favorite Hawaiian shirt and white pants for him; we didn’t take shoes. I like to think he’s walking barefoot among the clouds in heaven. Maybe he and your Dad have met. I hope so.


  18. Maxi says:

    No one knows your pain, your suffering. I can only tell you how sorry I am for your loss.

    Please know that your dad’s spirit will always be with you. You will feel his spirit close when you need him most, when his loss overwhelms you.

    His spirit is right there with you on those days when you wish for one more hour…

    blessings ~ maxi


  19. Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. He may be gone, but I can tell he will never be forgotten. 🙂


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