When I was up in Fargo last week helping my parents, I clipped my mom's toenails. She has a broken wrist, which, along with decreasing agility, renders her unable to reach her toes. We soaked the thickened nail beds in warm Palmolive water (those who remember manicurist Madge in the old Palmolive soap commercials, raise your hands) and I did the best I could. After I cut them, I rubbed lotion up and down her legs and into her feet.
When I went to bed that night, I thought about those feet of hers. Feet that have walked how many thousands of miles in 92 years? I can only imagine. Feet that held up her bulging belly when she carried babies in her womb three times. Feet that ran to the Red Owl, concerts, games, Girl Scouts, church meetings, AMA meetings, potlucks and dinner clubs. Feet that explored most countries in Europe.
My mom's feet have been splashed with paint, stain, ocean water, lake water, sweat, food, pine sap and lots of dirt. They have danced many a night away to "Mack the Knife." They are feet that have walked to and from the graves of her parents, 3 of her brothers, and dozens of close friends.
What if feet could speak? Think of the mysteries of life they have born witness to! Our lives have been lived out on heels, soles and toes. They do our bidding.
My mom's feet are more swollen now and need a little assist from a walker. But they are still warm with life and still hold up the body of this woman who has mothered me so lavishly. And to rub them with lotion was seemingly mundane, but in truth, it felt like something sacred.