It’s funny how your mind can drift. One minute you are thinking about something and the next you have traveled to a completely different thought. It happened to me the other day. I was focused on my diet and the weight I have lost. It has been hard and I was proud of myself. But as I looked down at my hands, my thoughts turned to the gold ring on the third finger of my left hand. I realized that it was becoming loose and I was at risk of it sliding off. And I knew I couldn’t let that happen.
I thought of the day it was placed there by the most beautiful girl in my world. I was twenty two and, other then a high school class ring that I had worn briefly before losing it, it felt foreign to me. Oh, I was thrilled to wear it, but, at the time, it just signified that I was married. No more. No less. My mind was still wrapping itself around the words of the pastor. “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part.” O.K. I can do that I thought. We are young and don’t need to worry about any of that stuff.
But, as time passed, we grew closer and that gold ring began to take on more significance. It was the bond between us that said “wherever you are, I am with you”. It became more then a symbol of marriage. It became a symbol of trust and love. One day, after several years, I realized I could never take it off. It had become so much a part of who I was, who we were and who we had become.
The vows that we had so casually agreed to so many years before had also somehow evolved into our values. For better or worse became “regardless of what happens, we will face it together.” “for richer or poorer” would be the result of whatever we were able to build together.”In sickness or in health” was a given. We knew instinctively if one was not well, neither of us were. The “til death do us part” thing was the one we didn’t want to visualize, yet, each knowing full well it would someday be reality. But I think we both knew, that death was not going to separate us. Our bodies perhaps, but never our hearts.
Of course it happened. She went on ahead two years ago this month. It’s like yesterday and in some ways it’s like tomorrow. She is still with me however. I see her every day, on the third finger of my left hand. That little gold band that reminds me that when physical life ends, love continues. Death cannot break the bond.
I am going to have to have it resized. To lose it would be to lose a piece of me. A piece of us. Within that band, there lives a lifetime.