Why I treasure the ring I found at a charity garage sale, by Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

It was the Saturday of the first weekend that I had spent with Felipe. Our relationship was at that place and at that time when I knew my heart was approaching the point of no return.

He had already met my best friends and my family. He showed up at my guitar gig on Tuesday night and even read an essay of mine that I hadn’t yet published. Felipe seemed intrigued by all the quirks and qualities that existed within me.

When I arrived at his apartment on Friday night, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving until Sunday, except for the time I had planned to volunteer for the charity garage sale. The money raised would support a local children’s organization.

Being an active member of my community is something that has always been important to me. I learned the hard way that a lot of people praise the concept, but they don’t appreciate the follow through when it comes to giving time. I had exes say things to me like “you like your job more than me”. Or “I support the community by paying taxes.”

When I left Felipe’s apartment on Saturday morning to volunteer for the day, I was testing new ground. I told him that we might need some help after the yard sale to transport the items that aren’t selling.

“Would you mind if we used your truck?” He said to call him, and he would help us clean up.

The day was hot for May. We settled into the parking lot of the Children’s Wellness Center, turning up the volume to some fun music playing from the sound system. Locals bought treasures from the second-hand donations. There were still a few hours left for sale when I saw Felipe arrive. Walking over to me, he said, “I need some stuff for my apartment, so I thought I’d look around.

He shopped while I took cash and helped customers with their purchases, but it was clear he was there to help.

At the end of the day, we bagged and boxed the leftovers to take to the local Goodwill. On one of the trinket and trinket tables, I found a box with several pieces of jewelry. A simple silver ring with a wave at the top caught my eye. It suited me so I kept it.

Three years later, Felipe asked me to be his wife. We looked at ring options at local and online jewelry stores. Everything shimmered with gold and diamonds, rings that all seemed somehow out of place on my hand. I couldn’t find one that said what I wanted it to say. I wanted a ring that reminds me of us, our simplicity and our strength as a couple.

Then one day, while Felipe was cleaning the guest bathroom to replace the floor, he handed me a small basket he had found under the sink. I looked inside and there it was, this simple silver ring from the charity garage sale. I have forgotten about him.

“That’s it,” I said. “It’s my wedding ring.” I took it to a jeweler and added two turquoise stones to it. This charity garage sale was 15 years ago. The ring still reminds me of the man who supported my endeavors from the very beginning and the weekend I realized I loved him.

(SET CAPTION) The author and her husband show off their wedding rings. (SET CAPTION)

Check out Bonnie’s weekly YouTube videos at https://www.youtube.com/bonniejeanfeldkamp. To learn more about Bonnie Jean Feldkamp and to read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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