I have this “thing” with wedding rings. I lose them. Or, I lose parts of them.
When Jason and I shopped together for our wedding rings, we agreed we wanted something both very inexpensive and unique. We were ecstatic to find a guy out of Canada that that machined Titanium rings in his spare time. This was way before Titanium rings were all the rage and we liked them because they were cheap and lightweight. When they arrived, we were delighted with the results and they felt smooth and perfect on our hands (yes, we unconventionally wore them before we were married, as I didn’t want an engagement ring AND a wedding ring). Knowing they were made my hand by this person we had personally interacted with made them even more special, full of love and the sweat of creative work. They were engraved inside with a line from one of our favorite Ben Fold’s songs: “I loved you before I met you” (my ring) and “I met you just in time” (Jason’s ring). I can’t find a picture of it now, but it looked very similar to this:
A few years later, in the Jeep on our way to a friend’s wedding, I removed my ring to slather lotion on my hands. As always, I placed the ring in my lap. We parked shortly after that and when I got up, I heard the sound of the ring falling down into the abyss of the Jeep: “cling, cling, cling!” I searched frantically for it. We searched under the seats, in the cracks of the metal Jeep body, on the ground of the parking lot. It was nowhere to be found. I remained hopeful throughout the night that it would appear. It has never appeared.
A few weeks later at Christmas, my Mother coincidentally surprised me with a sparkly gift: the wedding ring set she had worn when she married my Dad. I hadn’t even told her that I’d lost mine! They are long divorced, but I had coveted the Sterling Silver, slightly antiqued set since I was very young. Every so often, I would climb on a wooden kitchen chair and carefully remove it from the cabinet where my Mama stored her valuable jewelry. I would open the case and watch it sparkle “like a holiday”. More than once, I had told my Mama I’d love to have this ring when I was married. Now, I’m not really a diamond girl at all, but the sentimentality of the ring meant so much to me, like a glittery moment from past. She had taken it to have it appraised and cleaned and I was proud and humbled to wear the ring my Mama had worn when she was my age.
About a year ago, as Jason and I rode to the grocery store, I looked down at the engagement band and gasped: gone was the beautiful, center diamond! With tears in my eyes, I could tell a prong had broken earlier. I racked my brain to try and remember if I hit my hand against something…Suddenly, I recalled how earlier that morning, while in the shower, I looked down near the drain at a chunky foreign object. Without my glasses on, I couldn’t identify what it was, but I know it didn’t belong in the shower. Thinking it was a big ol’ crusty booger or goodness knows what other nasty bodily object, I kicked it down the drain while saying “Gross!” Suddenly, I realized with sadness that it was the diamond I had haphazardly brushed into the abyss of the drain.
We hurried home and popped off the drain, peering down with a flashlight. Nothing. Later, we even used a special tool and still didn’t retrieve it. It has been long washed down with the rest of the shower water. Devastated, I continued to wear the wedding ring portion of the set, but my hand always felt a little empty. I knew I’d not likely have the time, energy, or money to replace it anytime soon. And so, the engagement ring, sans center diamond, sat lonely in my jewelry box. Just this past weekend, my visiting Papa said “Aw, you really should have that diamond replaced in your ring…”
Yesterday, my Mama called to wish me a happy Valentine’s Day. Then she told me a quick story. While visiting last month (and deep cleaning my entire house!), she had snuck off with the engagement ring. Back home in Indiana, she’d gotten the diamond replaced and had planned on asking Jason surprise me with it on Valentine’s Day. But, fearing I would worry about what happened to it (I didn’t’ even notice it was gone!), she wanted to tell me that it was in her safe hands, shortly to be in my not-so-safe hands.
What a gift! What an amazing surprise! Honored, I relayed my sincere gratitude to her, so floored that she would go through the trouble to perform such an act of kindness. I coulda hugged her right through that phone! But, that’s my Mama. She is the Queen of totally personal gifts and surprises, always somehow knowing exactly what someone wants. And truly, she is more precious and sparkles much brighter than any diamond.
So, the question I’m popping today: shall I chance wearing the ring again?