Sunday, January 9, 2011

Remembering the Tide

An odd dream, leaving me annoyed, confused, ready to reach for the phone...

Mom had died. I and my siblings descended on her home, each of us from different corners of the world. She had been living in the mid-west, with a family that none of us knew. I recall the man who welcomed us in, saying that somehow they were related through my mother's father, whom none of us had ever met, and who had been a rather randy fellow fathering many a half-sibling of hers.

I was upset because it was odd seeing how my mom had lived with that other family. Strangers as far as I was concerned, but they had taken her in and become more of a family for her than I had ever been. I didn't want to be there, and I certainly did not want anything when they took us to her rooms and explained that it was ours, whatever we chose to take. I walked around shaking my head, telling myself that there was nothing here I could want. Until I poked at some papers and a glint of gold caught my eye.

I picked up the wedding ring and noticed the initials on the inside of the band, initials of her married name, my name. Turning to the woman of the house, I asked if I could have it. As soon as I raised the gold band to show what I held, I saw her little boy grab her arm, look up at her and shake his head, but she quieted his complaint before a sound could leave his lips.

"Of course, it's yours," she told me. It was then I realized that no matter how much I wanted the ring, there was someone who wanted it just as much and probably deserved it even more. I walked over to the boy, asked him to hold out his hand, and then placed the ring in his open palm. He gripped it tightly, and mumbled a soft "Thank You" after his mother's prompting.

I stayed just long enough for the services and then flew home, never to consider it again. Life passed by as it should. Years later, while sitting on a bluff at the beach, I was amazed at the lowest tide I had ever seen. There was no water for miles, and the sand was still wet but exposed and sparkling in the sun. My two little girls were out exploring with their little red bucket and yellow shovels, reaching down to investigate whatever piqued their interests. One of them looked back and waved at me to come join them.

I climbed down from the bluff and walked out to where they were. I marveled at the treasures they'd collected, pebbles and glass of all colors tumbled smooth by the sea. We joined hands and walked together looking for more, until I saw a shiny something half buried in the sand. I bent down to pick at it and was surprised to hold a gold ring. As I brushed it off and looked inside the band, to my delight I saw my engraved initials. I wondered if it was coincidence, or if it could be my mother's ring, the one I had given the boy so many years ago.

The girls shrieked with joy when I showed them the ring. Placing it in their bucket, we laughed as we grabbed hands and ran up the beach, chased by the tide returning to shore.

<word count: 570>


Chris said...

Lisa, this is really moving. This is lovely. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Odd but very potent. Sounds like it might have taken a few days to shake that dream out of your system.