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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Ring

A few weeks ago, I was in the bank, and happened to glance down at my hand as it was resting on the desk. To my surprise and horror, there was no wedding ring on my finger! I don't even know when it slipped off, or where it could have gone. I just hope and pray that someday it turns up again. As heartbroken as I am, it's not the ring itself that is important in the long run, really, it's the story. THAT will always be with me.

When I was in college, there was a local jeweller that advertised in the campus directory. Their advertisement featured a ring that won an award for best design. It went on my wishlist for what I wanted out of a wedding ring because it was named "The Julie"- clearly a sign that it was meant for me. When my dreams came true, and my fiance took me ring shopping, I HAD to go and try on that ring. I learned a couple of things. First, winning ring designs are very expensive- far too expensive for a couple of poor college students. Second, my hands are very tiny and that ring was big enough to swallow my entire left hand. I needed a simple ring.

We didn't end up finding a ring out in Utah. We got engaged early in Decmeber, and we decided to search over Christmas break when we were with my family in California. We had a couple of generous, and very precious gifts to help us out. My mother, when she was a college student, lost her wedding ring in a ceramics class. It got mixed up with some clay, and that was the end of it. My parents couldn't afford another ring, so my grandparents bought her a replacement ring to wear. She wore it for several years before my father bought her a new ring. In honor of our engagement, my mother gave me that replacement ring to use as needed. Likewise, my fiance's mother and father had divorced, and she had remarried. She sent us her old wedding ring to help offset the cost of a ring. With two rings in hand, we went shopping two days before Christmas.

We found the ring in a strip mall of all places. A little jewelry store had recently opened between the Radio Shack and a dry cleaning business. The store was run by two brothers from Russia who crafted their own designs. It was originally an emerald ring- one round emerald stone, with two tiny diamonds coming off of it. The engagement band held the one stone, the wedding band the two tiny stones. The two bands swirled together in a simple curl. It was tiny and simple and very elegant. We decided to substitute the emerald for the diamond in my fiance's mother's ring, and use two small diamonds from my mother's ring, then trade in rest of the rings to offset the cost.

It was snowing that evening a few days later when we slipped outside for some privacy. We stood in the light of the white icicle lights framing my parents house and my sweetheart asked me to marry him again- this time pulling out a small box, and slipping the single band on my finger. I accepted again, a decision that has brought me so much joy over the last 20 years. The ring was a symbol of our combined families- his mother's diamond, my mother's diamonds resting side by side. It was a symbol of our love- for time and all eternity.

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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