Deja Shoe

I had one of those déjà vu moments – déjà shoe actually – because I looked down at my shoes and had a fleeting thought that they had been exactly there before. Have you ever had one of those? They can feel so real and some would say that they are; there are spiritual and esoteric theories about the phenomena. Déjà vu has hit me over the years and I refuse to waste a lot of mental energy on the theory of it. After all, I only have so many synapses firing. If I try to analyze every thought of a previous thought that might or might not have been an actual thought, I would get stuck inside an internal Inception vortex from which I would never recover. I think of those moments as brain farts and move on.


Only at this particular moment, I knew for certain that I had been exactly in that spot. And I knew precisely when.



Science has various explanations for déjà vu. Besides my vaunted brain fart theory, this is the one to which I subscribe:


I would dumb that down for you, but when a statement uses the word parahippocampal, there is no dumbing down.


I love my new job. I love feeling like I am daily making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer – the mission I was given by Kylie. I work with an incredibly dedicated team who are great at what they do and all passionately devoted to the cause. They made me feel perfectly welcome from the day I started and not just because they needed me to lift heavy things and reach the high places. I have been there only four months, but in some ways, it’s like I’ve been there much longer.

And sometimes, I get to meet the kids and families who are in the middle of the fight. I see hope, fear, and angst in their faces as if it is written in indelible ink. I read them as only one who has lived their story can. Whenever I have the opportunity, I love being able to serve as I was served. I am always careful to not reveal my story because all I want to serve up is hope and encouragement.

This was what I was doing when I experienced my déjà shoe. I was serving when I realized I was standing in the very place where exactly two years prior, a huddle of doctors told me that Kylie’s cancer had spread beyond hope of treatment. I couldn’t look up at them anymore, I could only look down at my shoes. I will never forget that place. Four days later, she would be dead.


One might ask why… why would I put myself in a position to relive my pain and loss every day? I have gotten that question a few times and my answer is simple. I am a simple man, after all (ergo the brain fart theory). I reply that being at home is no easier – I drown in loss there, too.  In fact, I have found no place to take my shoes where I am free. I can run but I cannot hide.


So, there I stood, looking at my shoes – wondering about the fact that two years ago I hated this view and now I love it. And I hate that I love it.


I awoke from my shoe reverie because a mother with deep creases of story written on her face needed me. We talked briefly. She smiled through a battle-weary fog. I returned her smile as I was taught by my girl and hope the encounter recharged her.



And somewhere in heaven, a little girl smiled down because she had led my shoes to exactly where they were supposed to be.



February 13, 2017 – 2 years gone today and missed every minute.

Source for science stuff: Deja Vu : Scientifically Explained | MEDCHROME

Snuggle Mommy

Rob Petrie had it made.

He had the love and adoration of the beautiful Laura. He had a fine young son. He had a fulfilling job where he worked in a humorous family atmosphere and neighbors who were his closest friends. You know what else he had? A good night’s sleep! He got a good night’s sleep because he and Laura had separate beds. Can you imagine it? I can. You see, I’m not one for snuggling.


I blame the fact that I get too hot. But really, I just like to be on my own. I think I’ve always been that way. I don’t recall a time when I just felt an overwhelming urge to cuddle. Oh sure, we were honeymooners at one point, way back in the early 90’s… when I was young. I am sure I snuggled then. But like any guy, If I were honest I would admit to an ulterior motive. Read More