Grandmother’s Ring

Creator: CatLane | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Copyright: Catherine Lane

“What do you mean it’s missing?” I demanded of my grieving mother in what I now realize in my own elder years, was not a kind tone of voice. In my defense, my twenty-three year old devastated self had barely gotten over the death of my beloved grandfather, grandmother’s husband of sixty-four years and my mother’s father. The blows had come too quickly and too unexpectedly. My anger at the universe, at God, at life, needed an outlet and only just entering adulthood as I had; I’d allowed myself to slip back into those awful, heart-wrenching, parent-hating days of teenhood.

My mother, maddeningly stoic, informed me that someone had stolen it sometime between the time the paramedics had arrived at the house and pronounced my grandmother deceased and the time she was lain within her casket for the final viewing.

“Who took it? She promised it to me? She promised me I’d always feel her with me whenever I wore it; whether on my finger or on a chain around my neck. She promised!” 

I broke down, not allowing anyone to console me, not allowing anyone to touch me. The pain was overwhelming, I’d shatter if anyone tried. 

Out in front of the dilapidated little Arkansas house stood the old willow tree, carvings up and down its trunk and limbs, all the way to the top. It was me. Every summer I’d climb those old branches and carve into that soft, sweet bark my name, my current crushes name and of course, the names of the most popular teen idols of the time; so sure was I that I’d marry one of them when I grew up. 

I sat beneath its branches now, alone. Most of the teen idols had married, had children or died of an overdose, always reported as accidental of course. My sweet grandmother was not supposed to die, at least not yet. I’d felt the same about my grandfather. 

When my grandfather had passed, my grandmother asked if there was anything among his personal belongings that I’d like to have. There was only one thing. His thin, nearly worn through gold wedding band. I’d like to wear it on a chain around my neck close to my heart. She promised me she would retrieve it for me when the time was right. 

That time never came. His old retirement watch, his ring and his wallet had gone missing, never to be found. It was then that grandmother promised me her tiny little, nearly worn through gold wedding band upon her passing. I accepted the promise with the naive faith of youth, that her passing would not be for a very, very long time.

Now, it had happened again. My heart, rendered raw from the unprecedented news of her death, could not bear to think that little gold symbol of my grandparents long, truly loving marriage, was gone. 

Twenty years later I stood in my parents home, listening to a pastor whom I’d never met, extoll the wonderful virtues of the woman who had been my mother. Numb. I was numb. Stoic, I thought. The pain so overwhelmed me that every emotional neuron or synapses or whatever it was that caused the human body to actually feel emotional pain, had shut down. Turned off. Now I understood. 

My father was speaking to me, placing something small, tiny actually, and round in my palm. 

“Your mother wanted to make sure this came to you. She had me remove it before,” my father made an odd sort of gasping hiccup sound. It was a moment before he could continue, “before she died.” 

Opening my palm, there was a tiny little silver and gold wedding band. The shank bearing the scars of repeated soldering. Through the years the delicate, thin band had worn through and each time, it had been repaired. 

I had never asked her for it, but she’d remembered. Now, twenty years since her passing I can hardly fathom the level of courage that took. I pray, when my time comes to an end, I will honor her with that same courage when I remove that precious little ringlet of gold from around my neck and place it into the loving hands of my daughter. 

Dreams from a Pilgrimage

Merril at dVerse asks us to "write about a historical artifact. You may write about any object—a family heirloom, a museum piece, a monument, or a palace. The choice is yours, but there must be some link to history and the past. You can write in any form or free verse."

How Shall It Be?

Autumn Leaves

How shall it be when I lay to my rest beneath that great towering palm fronds covering bare earth?

How shall it be when Autumn comes to call when the great Oak leaf falls upon the green earth where I lay?

How shall it be when great gusts of wind swirl bright orange and red dropping from trees above my head?

How shall it be in the quiet of winters grip a light dusting of snow covering a slow melting mound?

How shall it be when pollen travels forth rejoicing in the earth and the spring of new birth?

How shall it be after all of these things cease to be for me as I lay here sleeping my last peaceful slumber?

Murky Waters

A response to Three Things Challenge #803 by pensitivity101 Prompt Words: COASTAL FRAME PICTURE

After The Storm

Wading through the murky waters, debris swirling around my ankles, my face mask feeling as if it strove to suck the life out of my lungs; I trudged forward awkwardly.

Something bumped my leg hard. I stopped, peering through the convoluted layers of man made garbage laced through with what the sea had vomited upon me, upon everyone. I could see nothing. Hope dimmed, I couldn’t see my feet through the undulating waters burped up by this last coastal hurricane.

It had to be here. I gauged from memory, where my living room had been. Mucking through muddy debris, another bump on my leg then a sharp searing pain in my ankle.

Lifting my leg, attached to the outside of my ankle, is a little baby nurse shark. My detached thought processes pondered how adorable, this cute little thing has bitten off more than he can chew. However, my survival instinct of fight or flight kicked in with a rush and I began pulling on the sandpaper skin of the shark, trying to dislodge it.

Unsuccessful, I jabbed my fingers through the teeth clamped onto my skin and pried the little shark off of my body. A stream of blood erupted from beneath the dark water, swirling around my leg momentarily before it followed the path of the little shark back to the sea.

That’s when I found it. Just in front of me, the most beautifully framed picture of mother ocean I had ever seen. The edges of the Earth’s horizon hugging the fading blue line of water now tinged with a swirl of red fluid, donated by my little shark and me.



79 Word Challenge Written in Response to Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt – FAMILIAR

My lovely new neighbor invited me into her home, so I took a small house-warming gift over. I was amazed at how well put together her home was already. I remarked on this fact and her smile of gratitude warmed my chilled heart.

“I can not claim all of the credit as my Familiar helped me greatly,” she’d replied.

I opened my palm to give her the little black cat statue I had purchased on a whim.

Mixed Signals

Six sentence story in response to Keiths Rambling’s and girlieontheedge’s prompt word RESERVE.

Mixed Signals

I waited at the desk of the concierge for such an interminable length of time, I was not sure I wanted to dine here any longer, even if it was billed as the most deliciously posh restaurants on the coast, in decor and ambience as well as mouth-watering entrees. 

The concierge returned to his over-polished, finger-print free lectern, perusing his book of reservations for what felt like the hundredth time, all the while shaking his head apologetically stating he did not have a reservation for this night in my name. 

I provided the credit-card confirmation number again and waited, again, while he sat yet another expensively dressed, twenty-something couple to one of the much advertised private cubicles tucked into alcoves smelling of cedar, salt and whisky, this having been an old mill long ago. 

The non-plussed concierge returned with a piece of paper retrieved from what I assumed, was their administrative office, asking me if any other persons had access to my credit card to which I started to reply of course not, until I remembered my boyfriend, soon to be fiancé, had borrowed my card a time or two, just as I had his. 

 I asked why the concierge wanted to know about another user on my card, to which he replied he had located the confirmation, in fact he had discovered two confirmations for two separate nights in his lovely restaurant and perhaps we, my boyfriend and I had mixed our signals up concerning the night we had chosen to reserve our table. 

I did not believe so and wondered why my boyfriend had made a reservation using my card without telling me, unless, yes of course, he was planning the exact same surprise for me as I had planned for him this evening, then as absently begun to stroke the little blue jewelers box in my pocket, I saw him sitting in a private alcove partially hidden by sweeping palm fronds and he was with someone else, holding her hand, stroking it and that’s when he looked up, our eyes met, I turned, dropped the box into the little waste basket at the foot of the lectern and in answer to the concierge’s query about my reservation, I shook my head and whispered, “Cancel it, apparently there has been a major case of mixed signals.”

Sorry I’m Not Sorry

In response to Keith’s Ramblings 100 Word Friday Fictioneers – Word prompt SORRY

I’m sorry I’m not the mother you wished for, not the mother you thought I should be, not the mother you thought I ought to be.

I am sorry that you look at me with disdain, disregarding my pain as if a made-up notion of a lonely, depressed woman seeking attention, any kind of attention be it negative or not, your words not mine.

I’m not sorry I bore you. I’m not sorry you were gifted to me to love and cherish. I’m not sorry that you are my children. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for being your mom.



50 Word Flash-Fiction Challenge

She sat precariously on the coaming, to his right. He opened the throttle and she laughed open-mouthed into the wind. A slight nudge, her head hit the hull, the propellers dragged and then they came, sharks. He had fulfilled her last wish – to be part of the sea forever.

Authors Note: This work is pure fiction.

CoamingRaised edges or sides of a boat, designed to help keep waves and water from entering.

What I Found Mudlarking

In Response to Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt where the given word is Mudlark and the limit, just 52 words.

Of course he would appear just now on his gilded steed, she immersed in river mud up to her waist, her long hair caked with muck.

“Do you need a hand?” he asked.

“Yes please,” she said with a smile, reaching for his hand. She had found what she was looking for.

Lost and Found

Response to Keith Ramblings – A Quick Half-Dozen … for Six Sentence Stories where the given word is LOST.

Image ID: 102830966
Media Type: Stock Photo
Property Release: Yes
Copyright: lucky2084

I just had them only a second ago when I was searching for my smart-phone, which I had of course, misplaced not lost, a few minutes before that so, it stood to reason that they would be near to or at least, in the same vicinity of my smart-phone.

Not only have I misplaced, not lost, my smart-phone that is not very smart at all since it can not tell me where it is and I refuse to get one of those locator clapper things advertised for old people on television because I’m not old, even though I can not find my new spectacles which I need to find said smart-phone, so I surmise they have apparently run off together to some unknown and as yet undiscovered recess within my home.

Upon this arduous quest to find my spectacles and my smart-phone, I was thrilled to find the book I was reading, and misplaced last week, tucked beneath the legs of my nightstand where either I had accidentally knocked it off or my huge lapdog may have pulled it from my sleeping hands, after I fell into slumber reading the riveting words of Memory, Never Lose Anything Again.

Skipping to the last page of Memory, Never Lose Anything Again, not because the book is terminally bromidic but, in the interest of time and space I was looking for suggestions as to how I can locate these things I have misplaced, not lost, perhaps the tome is not working for me not because it’s bromidic but, it just may be the last line on the last page of the book that I take issue with, Remember where you had the lost item the last time you used it and you will find it.

I placed the noxious book back beneath my nightstand where I hoped to lose it again for good, reminding myself to forget this was the last place I had ever seen it and continued on my now frantic endeavor to locate my spectacles in order to see, which would finally enable the big reveal of the last place I had used them, because if I knew where I had used them last, they wouldn’t be lost at all.

So it was that only one room was left to submit to this awful scourge I have put my home through this night and one for which I’d pay dearly for straightening up later, but as this was the last place to look, look I did in each corner and crevice and even within the confines of my over-large bathtub until exasperated with myself, I put my hands on my hips and turned to find my reflection looking back at me perplexed, my spectacles sitting quite securely atop my head and wonder of wonders, my smart-phone in my hand – which I had been using as a flashlight the entire time.