TITLE: Keeping Clive
GENRE: Women's Fiction
I used to believe in fate, but that was before.
Before, when I was young and running, and the wind felt like it meant something great and grand coming my way. I haven't run for years, and I couldn't tell you why exactly. I just seem to have lost that piece of me somewhere in the mix of life, work, babies and too many sleepless nights.
My father has reminded me though. He’s wearing pressed, white burial clothes and lying in a shiny mahogany casket. What's curious are the shoes on my father's feet. They are the same white running shoes he wore to my college cross-country try-out so many years ago, but in his white-cushioned casket, they look completely out of place.
Old, cracked, the tread completely worn, the laces rags, the white actually more akin to death's grey skin tone. My heart softens slightly when I look over at my mother. She hates to iron and she hated those shoes, and yet she pressed my father's clothes so nicely, and put those old shoes on his feet.
The official funeral was in the middle of corn country, the Midwest, where I was raised. Crowds of people came to celebrate my father who, by any standard, was a great man. But he did not want to be buried in Omaha. We brought him home, returned to his birthplace in Cache Valley, Idaho, where he had bought two plots soon after marrying my mother. We used to laugh about that.