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by Rachel Crow
I fell in love with James Andrews when I was eighteen. We got married when I was twenty, and we bought our first lawn mower the following month. It was a beautiful machine. Silver handle, green body. We both loved it at first sight. Every Wednesday, I could find him out front, mowing with a look of pure pride in his eyes, and his father's worn-out cowboy hat on his head. It was as if he wanted everyone to see this machine, and he would be the first to admit that that was exactly what he wanted. His confidence and joy made me fall even deeper in love with him as the years went on.
His once-sturdy stride grew shakier over time. Years passed, and he grew weaker with each one. He grew to need me more than he cared to admit. The mower, once his favorite machine, his pride and joy, his weekly pastime, was collecting dust in the shed. The purple armchair in our living room grew to be his new favorite place. He sat there, his cowboy hat placed over his face as he napped the day away.
His weakness took hold. I still remember the day we had to admit him. I had to sell his lawnmower to pay the hospital bills. He slept more than he ate, and his skin was pale and sickly against the sheets. My once strong, radiant husband laid in his bed in room 316 with his trusty hat on the table next to him. I kept it in my lap every time I visited, watching him sleep and feeling the familiar crevices and turns of the hat.
His funeral was today, but I'm alright. He's no longer hurting. Today was actually the first day I saw him truly at peace in years. His hat was buried with him because I just knew in my heart that that's what he wanted. Out of our whole family, I was the last one to leave. It only seemed right. Now, I'm home again. Alone. No mower, no sleeping husband, no cowboy hat. Just a quiet house. A nap sounds pretty good right now.
This story was based on these randomly generated images.