Graduation Day

Art Title Graduation Day Glass red high top sneaker with white shoe laces created by Dori Settles

When I posted the sneaker, Baltimore 2019, to Facebook, I received a heartwarming post from a grandmother. The shoe reminded her of her grandson who was diagnosed early in his life with leukemia.

He had been in and out of treatment and hospital stays over his short life of 17 years, but through it all, was able to graduate high school.

At graduation, he proudly wore a brand new pair of Red Converse (or Converse-like) kicks under his very blue graduation gown. She even included a photo of him and his shoes.

When I went back to find her name and the story a few days later, the post had disappeared. Maybe it was too painful for her to leave up in public. I even asked friends to help try to find her comments. But no luck.

To honor that young man and his family, I hit the thrift stores looking for a Converse-style shoe. No luck, I finally hit the nearest shoe store, and took a guess on size and picked up a pair of men’s size 11 sneakers.

It’s a lot harder to work with taller shoes, but there’s something really magical about the delicate area of the ankle after the shoe came out of the mold. It speaks to how our lives can be easily shattered.

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