Love Poems and Sad Stories - The Gold Wedding Band

Wedding Bands
Wedding Bands

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Six years earlier, he and his brother had sat beside their father in this very same church at their mother's funeral mass. (see The Beginning of the End ). Now they had returned for their father's funeral.

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As he sat listening to the priest and reflecting on the events of the past few weeks, one thing still bothered him, "What had happened to their father's gold wedding band". They had carefully gone through their father's personal belongings and they never found the gold wedding band that his father had always worn.

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The Gold Wedding Band

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"Introibo ad altare Dei ". The priest began the funeral mass with the familiar Latin phrase. He sat next to his brother at the front of the church and reflected on all that had happened in the past three weeks since he got the call at work informing him that his father had suffered a stroke.

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He had quickly wrapped up his work as best he could and prepared himself for the six hundred-mile drive to his father’s home. He had to rely on the next door neighbor to look after things until he got there.

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When he arrived there, things were even worse than he had been led to believe. His father was barely conscious, sprawled out in his favorite chair and it was obvious that he had wet himself. However, he was alert enough to be of some help as he was dragged to his bedroom, and his soaked clothing was replaced with dry underwear. It was Saturday night and he would reassess things in the morning. Meanwhile, he tried to recall his father’s doctor’s name.

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The next morning, his father had not improved so he had placed a call to his father’s doctor who arranged for an ambulance to take him to the local hospital. Once they had gotten him to the emergency room and had hooked up an IV, his father seemed to improve somewhat, but he did not regain consciousness.

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He had notified his brother and sister, who lived several hundred miles away, that their father was in serious condition and that they should come if they wanted to see him alive. His brother had arranged to take the train, but his sister had not been well enough to travel alone. He would have driven to pick her up but he had developed cataracts in both eyes and could barely see well enough to drive during the day and not at all at night.

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Once his brother arrived, he had hoped that he would take over the responsibility for driving, but his brother had let his driver’s license expire. Twice each day they had driven to the hospital looking for any signs of improvement, but the only movement that their father had made was the uncontrollable twitching of his right arm.

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They had notified the parish priest who had come and had given their father the last rights. Days stretched into weeks and after 18 days, when the hospital had called and notified them that they could no longer find a suitable vein to put the IV in, they had given up hope and waited for his inevitable death.

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They knew that in life, their father never wanted to be a burden to anyone, and he wouldn’t want to start at this late date. They then drank a shot and a beer in his memory, the way he always did it whenever he took a break from working in the yard, and they had begun planning his funeral.

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They had contacted the same funeral home that had buried their mother six years earlier and they had asked the parish priest to say the funeral mass. Many years earlier, when their stepbrother had died, their parents had bought four plots in the local cemetery. Their stepbrother was buried in the first one, their mother was in the second one, and now their father would be buried in the third.

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Their mother had always hoped that she could move his stepsister, Geraldine, who died when she was only fourteen, into the fourth grave but they never had enough money. His stepsister, Geraldine, had died of a ruptured appendix when his parents still lived in Milwaukee. It was during the depression, and she was buried by the county in a pauper’s grave. It wasn’t until years later that his parents could even afford to put a simple stone marker on the grave.

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All of his father’s friends and relatives had been contacted and some parish women had agreed to provide a lunch in the church basement for a nominal fee. His sister had been flown in and now they were sitting all together here in the church listening to the priest say how their father had been a good man who had always provided for his family. Finally, he could begin to unwind and begin the grieving process, which he had managed to delay.

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His brother had helped him search through their father’s things where they had found the suit, which he used to wear to church on Sunday. Everything had been arranged for a proper burial except one thing still bothered him. In going through their father's belongings, they had never found his wedding ring. It was not uncommon for him to take it off when he worked in the yard or the garage, but he usually kept it in the bedroom on his dresser. They had even looked under the dresser in case it had fallen off.

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Suddenly, he remembered something that his brother had told him after their mother’s funeral six years earlier. During the wake at the funeral parlor, he and his brother had taken turns going outside with their father so that he could get a break and a chew of tobacco. The other one of them had stayed inside to greet any visitors. He had asked his brother what they talked about when they went outside.

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His brother had answered that their father had once told him about and old Polish custom that when one member of a married couple died, the other one would place their wedding band on the dead partner’s finger to show their undying love. He suddenly realized then what their father had done when he knelt down beside their mother’s coffin to say his final good bye.

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But life goes on. The young man falls in love (New Years Eve) and gets married. He and his wife adopt two Russian orphans (From Russia with Love and A Tale of Two Sisters).

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The next Sad Story takes place in 1999 when the young man sadly learns that (December is a Cold Cruel Month).

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North Central Wisconsin where this true story takes place

A markerWausau, WI -
Wausau, WI, USA
[get directions]

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Prue 23 months ago

Reading posts like this make surfing such a pluaesre

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