When my husband and I had been dating for two years we started looking for a home together. Valentine’s Day rolled around and I was just sure that I would get that ring. It was just a little backwards, should’ve got the ring first, but in our defense, I think we’ve always been pulled together…nothing we can do about it (sometimes though…LOL). So, here we are, embarking on our lives, trying to find that perfect place (which we did, but almost a year later) and I am absolutely certain that he is spending time also trying to find that perfect ring. Valentine’s Day. That Day. Built up by so much lovey media. I raced to his parent’s house after work, just sure he had something big planned. Nope. Literally nothing. We watched some TV. Just sat around. Then he pulled out the ring box. I forgot that I wanted some big romantic gesture and nearly screamed “YES!” before he asked. Good thing I held myself, because he didn’t ask. He handed it to me. Explained that he didn’t know my ring size since I didn’t have any others, hoped I liked it, wasn’t sure if I even liked jewelry. It was a beautiful ring. My birthstone and two small diamonds on either side. But it wasn’t THE ring.
I was disappointed. You hate to act that way so I tried not to show it. If you know me then you also know that my face reads as clearly as a well written book. So I tried, but he knew. He was pretty quick with a, “If I’d asked today you wouldn’t have been surprised. Just wait.” He also added, “When you expect something you’re not promised you’ll always end up disappointed.” I thanked him and tried to smile.
Just yesterday I was telling a friend about the latter of this story (I left out the ‘I’m an ungrateful hiney part) and he said, “Knowing him he probably got it out of a gum-ball machine, anyway.” And his friend is right. My husband isn’t one to spend money on something that doesn’t “do” something, and he’s not one to go out of his way to get such a thing. At least my husband walked past the machines by the door and all the way in the store. That’s really worth a lot with him!
So, go forward ten years. We found our home, wedding, baby, more babies. I rarely thought of that ring on my finger. It was just another part of the journey here. But not even an important part. Late nights with our babies, loss, coming out of sickness, leaning on each other, love and laughter…all of those unseen things are the ones I cherish. Even my wedding ring is merely a symbol, and while I’m happy to have it, when I’ve been pregnant and had to live without on my swollen finger, I never felt any less married. So, here we were two years ago, deep in a life that ring didn’t bring or destroy, and I took it off and put it in a very tiny cup that sits on my window sill as I always do when I’m kneading bread. When I went to put it back on I noticed that the stone was gone. I had forgotten to take my rings off at first. I announced that someone might have a surprise in their bread and butter later, then tossed the ring back in the cup. Last fall my oldest son found a sticky gem on the floor of the school bus. You know, something a girl would stick on her notebook or something. So he brought it home and he and his sister worked together to sneak my ring and give it a “new stone.” I was really moved by his thinking of me and effort, so I got me some pliers and bent the prongs (one was broken, but was still long enough to go over the 1/8″ thick piece of plastic) to hold it when the rest of the sticky wore off. I’ve been wearing it that way for six or seven months, and have had at least three people compliment me on the brilliant color of that stone. LOL!
So, this past weekend my oldest and my daughter (there was mud elsewhere, so the youngest boy wasn’t interested) were collecting stones in the driveway. They were digging to get to the shiny cinders in the packed down drive and were running in every twenty-eight seconds, “Mom! Look at this!” After awhile I just sort of “Yeah, that’s nice,” without really looking. So when my son came in for the fiftieth time I gave him a generic praise, and he said, “I think it’s the stone to your ring…” AND IT WAS!!! What are the odds of anyone ever finding that? He said he was digging in the driveway (he was about 50 yards from the house!!) and it was packed pretty deep down. I looked down at the ring on my finger and I told him that I had grown quite fond of my ring as it is, so he could keep that stone if he wanted…which he really really did!! He had really found treasure! I already had treasure! That little plastic disc of a jewel, found and placed by my children’s hands…why oh why are these things so important?