Keystone Boots

I remember that day so well.   I had flown out to see my friend after discovering online that she was suffering and had been poisoned by toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

She met me at the airport, the drugs trying to fight the cancer had taken a toll on her but she was still as beautiful as ever.

I spent the weekend with her at her home, we laughed, we watched movies, we talked. But it was the trip to Keystone that is etched in my mind so vividly. She awoke that morning and was ready for a good day. The day before we had visited the pharmacy and received her medicinal marijuana (love Colorado). She shows them an ID card and they give her 2 ounces of Marijuana.

That morning we got up and she was in her incredible bathroom getting ready to take on the day. Her hair was super short but it was growing back from her most recent bout of treatment. That bathroom had enormous windows with a view to match, she told me that was why they built the bathroom there, so she could see the mountains while she luxuriated in the spa tub. Just screams aaaahhhh.. relaxation.

This bathroom also harbored another secret… the volcano. The volcano is a device sorta like a vaporizer of sorts for MJ. She swore me to secrecy ( but I don’t really think it was unknown to other members of the household) . It was her vehicle to receive her treatment, it relieved her pain. Once she completed the treatment she was pain-free for a few hours.

It was then she performed a rocking dance routine 1and sang a song with her daughter (she was always singing) as she prepared to “do something”. She informed us all that we were going to Keystone and to get ready to go.

She put on her jeans and a black sweater, kinda of long if I remember right, and large hoop earrings, lipstick and then those boots.  I can still see her sitting on the edge of that California king bed and pulling on those boots and telling me she felt powerful and full of attitude when she put them on.

They were a pair of well- worn Frye boots, square -toed and broken in. They looked great and completed her attitude against cancer, at least for that day.

We drove to Keystone and it was a cold brisk day. Snow on the ground. My first memory of Keystone was sparkling. The village twinkled in the late afternoon dusk and we strolled around, we stopped in a store and bought a hat for my ill prepared head. Then we went to a restaurant and got a bite to eat. She may have been sick on the inside but she was in charge on the outside. In a very crowded restaurant we had a table in minutes. It was her charm that did it.

We laughed and she told stories about the ski lift an escapade she had on it, something about getting on it too late and it was actually closed and they couldn’t get back.. Very Denita. It was a glorious day.

That day is etched in my memory, on that day she wasn’t sick, she was just Dee.

After she passed away, we were going through a few of her things and her son said take anything you want, Mom would like you to have them. I got the boots, plus a few other items that I treasure. I really didn’t need her wigs or intricately beaded gowns, but the boots were a perfect fit. Not really, they are an 8. I am a 7.5, but I make it work.

I don’t wear the boots often but when I  do I feel her presence and her attitude. So does anyone else who slides their foot in them for that matter. To me they are like the sisterhood of the traveling boots. Somewhat magical and when you put your foot in them like Cinderella’s slippers something magic happens. I channel her strength, her fight, her  persistence, her attitude. I feel protected, powerful and loved in those boots. And for a brief time, she is alive once more.

I will always think of them as Keystone Boots.

Until Next Time,