Thing(s) 2

by Bill

On Sunday after the fire the folks at Service Master were going through the house again, to find everything else they could clean and salvage. I couldn’t face the house that day, so I sat on the front lawn and watched as they catalogued and tagged everything we owned that might be salvageable.

I watched as they pulled out furniture, a few antique dishes, books, anything they thought they could clean. I asked someone if they could clean our shoes. “I’m sorry sir, but shoes cannot be cleaned.” I could feel the walls closing in again, I thought about my collection of Chucks (Converse All Stars).

Let me back up a bit here and explain why silly old Chuck Taylor All Star shoes mean so much. When I first met my wife, almost 10 years ago now, she had a ratty old pair of Chucks from high school. She had been wearing them for years, and they started to grow on me as well. When we were planning our wedding, almost simultaneously we both said that we had to wear Chucks (note that this was before it was trendy to wear Chucks at your wedding, because we are trend setters my wife and I). That settled it, we were wearing Chucks, white ones for her and black ones for me.

That solidified my love affair with Converse. I have spent the last 8 years collecting various colors of them. I owned at least 12 pairs myself, with upwards of 20 total in the household.

I couldn’t comprehend that my Chucks were gone and I would have to rebuild the collection. Here it is again, the realization that things hold immense meaning for us. I started to have another panic attack.

I was finally able to breathe again when I focused on the things that really mattered; my wife, my daughter, and our amazing friends and family.

We had a busy Monday, taking Issa to school, working through more of the house, and meeting with our insurance adjuster. It was an exhausting day both physically and emotionally. The sun set and we had to board up the house again and go home for the evening. When we got back to the house, there were several packages waiting for us. One of which had my name on it from a company called I had never heard of these folks, but I hardly ever get mail so I was kinda excited. I opened the package and staring at me where 3 brand new pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars! I couldn’t believe it! Someone had sent me my most favorite shoe. I opened the shoe boxes and broke into tears. One of the new pairs was an exact replacement for a pair I had purchased to wear at one of my best friends weddings last summer.

Later I found out the story behind the gift.

Someone mentioned my love of Converse to the numerous people who were asking how they could help us in our time of need. Our friend Jo took it upon herself to find me some Chucks. She contacted the wonderful people at and told them our story. Without blinking an eye, they asked her how many pairs should they send. They decided to send me the three pairs. I was in awe that a company cared about people so much that they would do something like that.

A week later another box came for me from someone else who heard our story. And low and behold, another pair of Chucks. This time it was a Black pair (the same ones I had worn to my wedding 8 years ago). My Chucks collection is starting to grow again and I am overwhelmed at the generosity of people and companies in the worst era of my life. Thank you to all who have donated and continue to donate to my family and I. You may not ever know how much your love and support has touched us, but know that the little things have helped to heal my soul.

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