Friday, August 15, 2008

A Circle of Love

If you look inside my jewelry box, there isn't much there.
A few cheap earrings, a forgotten necklace, an old watch...
I'm just not crazy about jewelry like some women are.
(I'll take a piece of fudge
over a piece of jewelry anytime)!

I may not believe in having a lot of jewelry-
But I do believe in love.

And because of this, I treasure my wedding ring.

It was on a hot August night thirty-three years ago
that my husband proposed...

It wasn't like the movies- with the guy all stressed out
with sweaty palms and a black velvet box containing a giant rock.
It didn't happen like television programs where the girl
is completely surprised, bursts out in tears,and has a mini heart attack.

He picked me up in his '69 Datsun that evening
and we rode around town for awhile-
I remember the heat of the night-
the smells of summer-
I can still see us back then...
My long, blond hair blowing out the window-
(his long hair blowing out the other window)! :)

Sometime before the night was over, he parked the car
and leaned over toward me.
"I want to get married," he said. "Will you marry me?"
We kissed and I replied, "I guess."

"Okay, but don't tell anybody yet," he added.
He wanted to make sure he prepared his family for the news.
After all, we had only dated for four months.

Money was tight back then, so there wasn't an engagement ring,
but soon we began picking out a wedding ring.
We got our marriage license at the court house
one afternoon in September
and ran across the street
to a jewelry store.

There were bands and bangles and baguettes.
There were rocks and rubies and royal jewels.
There were diamonds and gems and shiny stones.

But, right there in the case next to them
was a thin gold band.
Looking very closely, it had three tiny diamond chips on it
with small engraved flowers between them.
And the price was right: $35.

To me, it was priceless.
To me, picking out a ring
wasn't the idea of having a giant diamond
to show off to the world -
It was choosing some sort of symbol
to remind us daily of our vows.

I never, (in almost 33 years), ever took that ring off.

Until a month ago.

And even then, I didn't remove it willingly.
Because of some minor surgery, it had to be cut from my finger.
Through the years, my knuckles and fingers had grown
to the point where not even the slipperiest soap
or the strongest steroid-laden nurse could budge it.

I didn't think it would bother me that much.
(After all- it did need to be resized anyway and it could be repaired.)
But I cried like a baby when the little cutting wheel made
that final "crack" and the circle was broken.
I think a piece of my heart was, too.

But, like in the movies and TV programs,
my story does have a happy ending.

I got my ring back from the jewelers yesterday.
It is as shiny and beautiful as the day I got it.

I can't help looking at it.
I like to think that the three diamond chips symbolize my children
and the flowers symbolize my husband and I -

All together again
in a circle of love.