My mother passed away in the middle of a January after two long stays at the hospital.

When we began clearing out her house, I noticed a shoe box standing close to her bedroom door. It looked brand-new and so I opened it to check what was inside – in my family (and in many more, I’m sure) a shoe box can be storage for literally anything… This time, it indeed contained shoes- brand-new winter hiking boots. They were brown – not my favourite colour – and with a warm woolly lining. I could understand from the price tag still attached to the box that they had been a real bargain, bought in a sale – as my mother would so often do, and which I inherited from her completely.

I took out the boots and noticed they had never been worn, the price tags were still glued to their soles. My mother had died, not even having worn the boots just once, which she probably had been so looking forward to… This was a very sad thought and so I put back the boots into their box. That’s when I noticed that the size on the box was given as a German 40 – which is my size, but never was my mother’s…

I took out the boots again, tried them on and walked down the hallway once or twice. They fit like the proverbial glove. I put the box containing the boots next to the front door. I would later take the boots with me and wear them as often as I could during this winter – this way, they would not have been bought in vain!

It is now six and a half years later. I’m still wearing the boots, every winter. Yes, they are brown which really is not my colour – but it is so good not having to worry about mud-stains, because you cannot really recognize them on the boots anyway!

And every time I’m putting on the boots, I’m thinking of my mother…


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