first place writing

i wrote the following for a contest on a writing site – won first place 🙂
of course, there were only two of us that entered .. but i still took first.

The noise in the washing machine turned out to be …..You’re not going to believe this…..I don’t even believe it. But there it is, in my hand.

I suppose I should explain. It started years ago, while he was still alive; when I didn’t have to do laundry alone.

We were young and so much in love with each other. Sometimes I think we would have an argument just so we could spend time ‘making up”. He was a little taller than me, dark hair and even darker eyes. How I could lose myself in those eyes.

The day we were married is still fresh in my mind. More so I suppose after this find. Anyway, it was high on the mountain, overlooking the crashing surf below. The surf that would take him from me. The surf I now can’t stand to hear.

I will never understand what made him think he could swim through those waves. We had set out a patterned blanket on the sand and had a picnic. The smell of roasted chicken, the sight of warmed, German potato salad, and his incredible deviled eggs. The sun was warm, but it was early autumn so the air had a cool edge. Browns, reds, yellows, and some greens all around us across the landscape above. The trees were always a draw for him. Especially this time of year.

When the current pulled him under … I can still see that in my mind also. Seemed my life was over.

So today I finally started cleaning out anything of his I couldn’t use or wasn’t really something we shared. I decided to donate his clothes to a shop nearby that catered to homeless and poor. To be sure they were clean and fresh, I decided to send them through the wash. Which brings me back to the noise. The clickety-clack, clink sound. I thought it was a quarter, or maybe a dime… but probably bigger than a dime.

So now, in my hand, I hold his wedding band. The gold glistens in the sunlight streaming through the laundry window. Diamonds sparkle like the stars in the heavens. And my heart sinks.

Then soars. Our love was special, one-of-a-kind love. He was here a few short years, by my side … now in heaven. Where some day I hope to see him once more.

His ring. Must have been in a pocket of one of his garments. I’ll slip it on my index finger for now and finish the laundry, then sit and cry for a spell.

I’m glad that model has that metal drum. I might never have heard the noise in the washing machine. I might have lost this glorious reminder of an earlier time. and a breath-taking love.


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