Occasionally, I wash a set of gloves. Sometimes Scott beats me to the task, but I want to do it. These gloves are unique.
As I put the gloves into the wash, I have to separate two from each other. All are white and the same size. I think about the hands that wear the gloves. Some are light brown, some dark others almost glow in the dark, like mine. I think about the age of people wearing the gloves- most of them are around twenty, some slightly younger, occasionally they are older.
I think of the gloves being put on in the van as they end a long ride to a dusty green spot in Kansas. They shine in the Kansas sun, usually in a small place by a field where people of all walks gather.
Those gloves of the young then touch the wood of the old, and sometimes not so old. They are touching the box that carries one of our soldier's body to the next part of life- the return to dust. I think of the gentleness of the touch-but the firm grip the gloves have to have. I think about the folding of the flag- the placement of that flag into the hands of someone who is there. Those gloves touch it all.
The gloves come back to my washer in many conditions. Sometimes they are really dirty, others I wonder why I am washing them. The day, the weather, the people, the flag- all are held in those gloves.
When the gloves leave the dryer I fold each pair of gloves and pray for the soldier who will wear them this time, the soldier who has left us and the family who will forever be touched by the gloves.