Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sentimental Value

 Margaret married Edward in the summer of 1916.

They had no money for a proper wedding and reception.  So she, in a borrowed blue dress, and he, in his uniform, exchanged vows down by the river, under the lazy branches of a weeping willow tree.    Her  flowers,  picked from the banks of the same river, were put in canning  jars and placed on an old wooden table  next to the cake, which had been baked by her mother.  Her wedding ring was a simple gold band engraved with a moon and stars.  “You are my universe,” he told her.

When Edward had proposed, along with an apology he had made Margaret a promise. “Some day, when my ship comes in, I will buy you the prettiest ring you have ever seen.”  And his ship had come in.  On their 25th wedding anniversary, he gave her a diamond.   She put the moon and star ring away, in her top dresser drawer, for safe keeping.  She could never tell her husband, but she loved her simple gold band better.  Margaret was very sentimental.

The day of their wedding was a beautiful day.  Margaret and Edward could not have asked for a better one on which to be married.  They were man and wife for 57 years.

Edward died in 1973.  After his funeral, Margaret returned home, briefly put on her gold band, and then returned it to her drawer, burying it under some lace handkerchiefs.


Two years later,  upon returning home from a trip to the grocery store, Margaret was surprised to see her back door propped open. Fear rising within her, she had no idea of what she was about to discover inside.  Her dear little house had been ransacked from the first room to the last.  Some of her obvious valuables, such as her camera, chest of silver, and microwave-were carelessly stacked on her dining room table.  Her television set was already gone. She had obviously caught the thieves between loads.

She hurried to her bedroom to get her reading glasses, so that she could see well enough to quickly dial the number of the police station.   It was then that she noticed the top drawer of her dresser was gone.  Her ring!

Afraid the intruders would return, Margaret had gone next door.  From the safety of  her neighbor’s living room, the police took her statement, but they had little to offer in the way of encouragement.  In crimes such as this, it was hard to find enough of a lead to follow, let alone recover any stolen property.

Angrily, Margaret said that if the thieves were ever caught, their punishment should be having to scrub her street from one end to the other- with a toothbrush.   The officers  rolled their eyes at each other over her head, patted her hand, and left.

So that was it then.  The ring was gone.


The next spring, as Margaret worked the soil in the garden plot that bordered  the walkway that led to her back door, she could hardly believe what she saw.  A glint of gold, right there among her Forget-Me-Not's.   A twist of fate.  A coincidence.  A miracle.

Her ring.


Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?
Write a post - fiction or non - and tell us about it. Word limit is 600.


This piece is fiction, but is also based on actual events.  My Grandma Helen was robbed in the same way as Margaret, and it was her idea of punishment to make those responsible scrub her street-which was a really, really long street, with a toothbrush.  She lost my grandfather’s ring in the robbery, but for her the biggest crime was the fact that she had to buy a new dresser because the thieves took the drawer from hers. (She was much more practical than sentimental.)  The thieves were never caught, her stolen items never recovered.

I was working in my own garden 4 years ago and found a wedding ring-a plain gold band.  I patterned the gold band in my story after my own father’s wedding band which I have always loved for it’s moon and star design.

I had the idea to combine all of these actual events to come up with a story that had a happy ending.

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