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Who will wash your shoes when I am no longer here?

This crossed my mind yesterday, as I soaked the only shoes you’ll wear.

The yellow lime ones.

The ones you’ve learned to put on yourself.

The ones that help you hop and skip down the street.

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The ones that take us to the park and the ice cream store.

The ones that you kick off once you’re home.

Tears ran down my face as the water washed the soap away.

I try to keep your shoes clean.

Because they’re the only pair you like.

The only ones that don’t hurt to wear.

But who will think to wash your shoes when I’m no longer here?

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I wish I could break this sadness.

The one that keeps me up at night.

The same sadness that I share with so many other caregivers like me who care for forever children.

The deep sadness that drives me to anger that I don’t have time to get everything in order before . . .

You’ll need another pair soon.

I’ll try my best to find the same ones.

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In the meantime, I’ll try my best to keep these ones clean.

And maybe one day, someone else will know to keep them clean, too.

This is my prayer today.

That I live longer to care for you.

That one day I’ll be able to teach you to wash them yourself.

And if you can’t, that some angel on this earth sees that you need help,

And will do this for you.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Maria Garito

Maria Garito is the mother of special needs Autistic child living in Ontario, Canada. As a teacher, her advocacy is focused on education supports and programs. She also writes about mental health and chronic illness.

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