These Little Sneakers still Haunt Me

Little sneakers. I have laced up and tied on many, many a pair on my kids and grandchildren. I have heard them coming down the hallway in my house running as fast as they could go. I look around the corner with joy to see the beautiful faces of the tiny lives inside those sneakers. All different colors and kinds. “Papa, will you tie my shoe?” I tie them every time and tightly hug the child inside them. My Dad taught me to hold them and say: “I’ll put this arm around you, and then this arm around you and SQUEEZE!”

Those tiny little sneakers.

Yesterday I saw a photo of a pair of sneakers on a toddler, and it broke my heart. A photo I will never forget. The little toddler was laying dead on a beach in Turkey. Then his little body was in the arms of a soldier, his little sneakers hanging over his arms.

There are not enough words, nor room to write the words about this sorrow. The photos of beheadings are trivial next to this.

We may think…well this is a world away. Maybe, but the world is getting smaller every day, and this is humanity we are speaking about.

I don’t want to see these photos again, but I cannot look away. Something must be done. I have to do something no matter how small. I’m checking to see what I can do.

Those little sneakers will haunt me if I don’t.