There is something extremely intimate and personal in having someone put your socks on. There is a trust placed in the sock putter on that they will achieve ultimate sock satisfaction. On the other hand there is something humbling about being on your knees putting on socks.

I remember when my children were small having a wrestling match to get socks on, they wanted to be footloose, not hemmed in by socks and shoes, I’d chase them round the house, and inevitably it turned into a game that we ended up in a heap in giggles,  enjoying the moment, forgetting the socks.

I have been sock putter on, massager of legs, wound checker, dressing changer, wine deliverer, cook, washer up, duster, sweeper, post collector, newspaper deliverer, grocery shopper, freezer filler, plant waterer and feeder, washer, dryer and ironer for a week to my mother. I didn’t notice any of the chores, sure there was nothing else to do, until there was a third party in the room, and suddenly from the reaction on the third party’s face there was something not right in the tone of “Susan get Julie some wine.” I polished and cleaned with gusto, trying not to notice that items were re-placed by fractions of millimetres, that dishes were checked for cleanliness, cutlery and glasses for sparkle. Trying to be I suppose the dutiful daughter, coming out of love, caught up in all the feelings from a life time ago not of giggles, heaps and forgotten socks.

Yesterday, she waited until my siblings were present before raising her right hand with two socks in the palm. I just got on my knees put on the socks and the shoes and got back up again, my sister had her mouth open. In that orifice I could see she would never stoop to put on socks, she would never succumb to the love that was needed to care for someone usually so brittle caught unawares by the frailty of surgery, she would never do what I had just done. Looking to my oldest sibling, my brother, the pragmatic philosopher, the I am trying to be as intelligent as you by putting you down all the time, brother. He was aghast, a ghostly, ghastly, aghast. Whether it was seeing me, the independent, no one is going to tie me down, I am doing it my way or no way, in such a humble stance. Perhaps the nuance in movement needed to create the reaction in me of falling to my knees, surprised by the hand gesture calling me immediately to task, or like my sister unable to slump to the floor at the foot of the person that caused so much pain for him as a child.

Being on my knees is natural to me, natural to me in my new normal, natural to me because I bask in the glow of the love of the Lord, my Lord, my Saviour, and that love, that overwhelming, never changing, always equal love, has helped me breathe in and out when I found that hard, has helped me stand tall, taller than I have ever been in the face of adversity and has strengthened me and helped me get down on my hands and knees and put socks on in love.

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