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Dedicated to Kathy
Submitted by Jim
We were married in Oregon when both of us had very little. Friends and family bought us a honeymoon on Kauai, something we could not have done ourselves. I couldn't even afford to buy Kathy a wedding ring.
Our last day on the island we were up early to walk our favorite beach, one that few people seemed to know about as we always had it to ourselves. We loved walking together, talking about our lives and our future.
As we walked I noticed a round piece of shell. Picking it up I realized it was shaped like a ring so, with a little silly ceremony, I got on one knee and put it on Kathy's finger. It was a perfect fit. I don't know if I could have loved her any more than at that moment. She wore that simple ring on the plane home and then I never thought about it again.
Five years later we were doing well financially and decided to return to Kauai for a vacation. We stayed in the same condo and on our final morning we got up for our normal walk on the beach but, when I came into the condo after finishing my coffee outside watching the sunrise, Kathy was sitting on the bed crying.
I asked her what was wrong and she held out her hand. In it was that shell ring from years before, in pieces. She had saved that simple ring and wanted to surprise me with it on our walk that morning.
How could I console her? How could I convince her that this piece of shell meant nothing compared to all the love she had given me?
I went to my suitcase and returned to the bed where she was still sitting. Getting down on my knee, I handed her a small box. With tears streaming down her face, heartbroken, she opened the box. In it were a diamond engagement ring and matching gold band that I had managed to save for and buy just before we left home for this vacation.
I didn't need to tell her what my plan had been, to give her this material sign of my love on "our beach" on our final day of this second honeymoon.
That was twenty-two years ago when we replaced that little piece of shell with those more elaborate symbols but we have kept those original broken pieces all these years. They reside in the small box I gave her that morning while the morning sun shown and the ocean sang it's beautiful call for us to join it on our beach.
We have returned to Hawaii several times since those old days, bringing the kids and enjoying watching them find the beauty and love that Hawaii seems to foster in everyone who cares to seek it.
I only hope that they will someday learn the lesson that Kathy and I were taught by that little piece of shell so many years ago.