It was the greatest tribute.
He lived a honorable life;
a loving husband, a doting father.
He was the perfect son and brother,
a hard-working employee
and he did works of charity.
Christopher Blandings only did
what he had been put on this earth to do.
He often wondered if it was all worth the trouble.
Christopher was never one for accolades
and acknowledgements; most of his
meanderings were done in the strictest anonymity.
The world seemed so out of step
with the morals he was raised upon.
People never seemed to understand
or appreciate the way things were.
His wife sympathized with her mate,
but being almost a decade younger than he,
she straddled the fence between the generations.
Yet she believed in his good and kind heart.
She loved his honesty and his loyalty.
He surprised her on occasion with
breakfast in bed or a tender back rub.
And he had a fire burning deep within him
that made Jessica lose control.
There was nothing bland about Blandings.
She loved Christopher right up to the day he died.
Sadness and grief were not emotions
to which she prescribed. She knew life was a celebration.
And death was clearly an extension of that.
In his passing, Christopher did not go unnoticed.
As the funeral processed to the cemetery
she became aware of something.
The telephone wires were adorned with shoes.
Their laces bound together, they were tossed
aloft to wrap around the overhead lines.
There were well over a hundred pairs hanging;
she witnessed people removing their footwear
and adding to the milieu.
Puzzled, she questioned the undertaker.
His explanation brought a tear to her eye.
“When a person passes, tradition had the mourners
remove their shoes and by draping the secured pairs
over the wires, pay homage to the person so loved.
The more shoes that dangled, the more respected
was the deceased.” he informed. Again Jessica looked.
And the tears were more abundant now.
Hundreds and hundreds of pairs pointed to his life
as one well lived; having touched many hearts.
It was the greatest tribute he could have been given.
(C) Walter J. Wojtanik