A pair of pretty new shoes for my grandfather

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My grandfather has type 1 diabetes and has begun loosing feeling in one of his feet. He walks around taking baby steps because he can’t feel his feet sometimes. It wasn’t until I took him to his routine podiatry appointment a month ago that I realized, the feeling really isn’t there. He never complains about it, in fact, he never even mentions it. When the doctor pricked his left foot to test the feeling and there was no response, I knew, there was a problem. Diabetic neuropathy is difficult to manage especially in elderly. We are hoping the new shoes help!

If you follow us on facebook, you may have seen this post yesterday.


The doctor suggested a pretty new pair of shoes for my grandfather. Ones with thick soles and rubber treads for better traction. A custom pair specific for him. My grandfather liked that idea. He felt special.

Anything would be an improvement from the old beat up sneakers that my grandfather insisted were fine.

After a month or so, the new shoes arrived and I took him to pick them up yesterday.

Would you believe me if I told you he wanted to keep the old smelly beat up shoes with no sole left? The doctor looked at me out of the corner of his eye while my grandfather was looking away and lipped, “throw these away.” I gave him a wink and thought to myself, “oh don’t worry sir, consider it done.”

My grandfather finished his appointment and told me , “don’t forget my old shoes kid, they still have good life in them.”

a pretty new pair of shoes for my grandfather

We proceeded to the parking lot and headed to the nearest dunkin donuts and shared a donut in the parking lot and he turned to me and said, “kid, it’s kinda nice feeling the ground again.” My grandfather is a pretty funny guy. I know some of you are thinking, diabetes and a donut don’t really mix but my grandfather will tell you, “I am 85 years old and if I want a donut, well you better believe I am going to eat a donut.” He probably would eat two! ha

I laughed and sipped my coffee. “It’s amazing what pretty new shoes will do, right gramp?”

Those old beat up sneakers are still at the doctors office. The doctor chuckled as he watched me walk right by them as we were leaving. My grandfather is the type that would still wear them because he wouldn’t want to get his new ones dirty.

My grandfather said to me when we got home, “hey kid, good idea leaving my old shoes behind on purpose. I gave him a wink and said, “I know gramp. I know.” 

A pair of pretty new shoes and a morning with my grandfather, a memory of a lifetime :).

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. I’m cracking up and have tears in my eyes at the same time Jessica! Definitely a wonderful memory and I totally relate to your grandpa because when I was little and would get new shoes and they would ask me if I wanted to wear my new ones out of the store I always felt so sad for my old ones as I watched them being placed in the box. 🙂
    Great story!

  2. Too funny, this is exactly like my husband. Could you tell me what kind of “special” shoes they are? I would love to check this out.

    Thank You!

    1. I’ll get you the name soon. We are off skiing in VT so when I get home, I’ll take a picture for you 🙂

  3. Bonnie K (BornInaZoo) says:

    Two years ago my brother went to the ER … he was in kidney & liver failure. There was no other options except for kidney & liver transplants. Through the doctors appointments (and a heart surgery) he had to have, he would never give up those shoes. They were wicked ugly, but he wore them and made him through all. He wears his boots or “nice shoes” to dialysis 3x a week. He puts those old shoes on when he is done.

    Monday he got word from the transplant clinic that he no longer need a liver transplant. His liver healed itself! The doctors never thought that would happen. He said, “It’s because I loves & trust these shoes. You are there 150% for me in the same way these shoes are.” I wanted to cry, laugh & punch him all at the same time!

    1. Wow so glad he is better! A liver transplant, that must have been scary. Glad the “shoes” worked for him 🙂

  4. Another one of your awesome generational posts, Jessica! Love reading them. My mother has diabetes, too, but the dementia took away her ability to walk before she lost the feeling in her feet. I’m so glad your grandfather got his new shoes. And hey, what’s one more doughnut? {love the leaving the old shoes part} ~Joyce

    1. Sorry about your mom and dementia. My other gram that use to live with us, prior to passing, also developed dementia the last 2 years or so of her life and man, that was difficult to deal with. Hope she is doing ok!

  5. I love this story! We have the same grandfather! lol! Mine is also very stubborn and holds onto everything because it “still has wear left”, but they did survive the depression living like this….I have taken and am still taking many life lessons from him. But I do still try and throw away the old faded dish towels full of holes that he just won’t get rid of…because they are still good!

  6. Susan Tofteland says:

    Hi! I followed you for a long time, and then you got “lost” during a omputer update. I just started following you again. I have been wondering about your family! Glad to know your Gramp is doing well. PS, no…a donut is not the enemy of the Type 1 diabetic. It’s all about planning! best wishes!

  7. Cindy Marszalek says:

    What a lovely, heartwarming post! You are so fortunate to still have your grandparents. The wonderful time you spend together will be with you for the rest of your life.

  8. That was so sweet! Yes, it’s wonderful that you have these special times with your loved ones. Your grandfather sounds like a great guy!

  9. Priceless memories 🙂

  10. Thanks for sharing this memory you will always hold dear…I’am with him on the donut situation!!!!

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