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With This Ring….

Friday, July 22, 2011
… I thee wed, to have and to hold, from this day forward….  ‘til death do us part.

 I am now beginning to look at my wedding ring, which is still on my left hand, after exactly five months today of being a widow, and am in a quandary over what to do. So what now?  Just take it off and put it in my jewelry drawer? This ring, which I have never taken off except when mixing raw, ground meat with my hands?  This ring, which made me, feel protected? This ring that made me feel loved and honored?  This ring that stood for my steadfast commitment and fidelity “ ‘til death do us part”? This ring, which I spin around with my thumb on cold days?   This ring, which symbolized to me all that it was meant to symbolize?  This step is a tough one for me……. a first that I am dragging my feet towards.  Removing this symbol of my covenant with Michael is much harder than simply slipping a ring off of my finger.  I loved our set of rings.  They were so “us”.  He chose Italian gold, of course, 18 karat gold instead of 14, with texture and design…not just smooth bands with a diamond solitaire sitting on top.  (Not that there is anything wrong with those kinds of wedding rings, it was just not us.)

When I was told about Michael’s accident, I did not want to believe it was him in that car who had died until they brought me back his wedding ring and his Italian gold crucifix necklace, both of which he never took off…then I would know.  I am wearing both now around my neck.   I know there are all kinds of options that I can do with the rings, like wear them on my right hand and put a different ring on my wedding finger, or make them into a necklace of some creative kind, but then it becomes a new symbol all together.  A symbol of the past, something that used to be, something to be remembered – not something to live by daily.  It could also be a symbol of hope in all things good.  It was a good marriage, a solid marriage, a marriage based on godly principles, a marriage that defied mainstream and did not become a divorce statistic, a marriage that stood for something, a marriage that withstood the storms. I don't know if there will ever be the perfect time to remove it from my finger.  One day soon, I will probably just need to do it without putting any more thought into it, just dive in and get it over with.  (I tried this method this past week when it was time to pick figs from our fig trees.  Michael ordered and planted the trees because he loved them. It was a nod to his Italian heritage and his childhood memories of his Papaw.  Michael picked the figs during harvest season and would pop a few in his mouth on his way back to the kitchen, then would enter commenting on their beauty and perfection. I decided to just grab a bowl after dinner and march outside to get all of the bright, purply red fruit from the tree. No pomp and circumstance, just go do it.  With every fig I removed from the tree, I was thinking,"I can do this. I can do this." It did not really work.  Tears were still in the rim of my eyes and there was no joy or beauty in the moment that should be present in the harvesting of something you grew yourself. Making the fig tarts would not be the same without Michael drooling over their beauty and flavor.  My sister Julie is going to make the tarts for me this year.  So much for the idea of just sucking it up and doing it.) 

No, I think I will need to do it in a calm moment of solitude in my bedroom.  I will probably remove it, admire it, remember his proposal, kiss it, and put it safely in the original ring box until I can decide how I want to wear it again, in a new, creative and thoughtful way. 

With this ring, we became one… for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health.  Our wedding vows were more than mere words to recite.  They were promises we meant to keep, and we did.  

6 comments:

Anonymous Says:
July 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Unless you feel that God is saying it is time, I wouldn't take it off!

Anonymous Says:
July 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

If you're having an "ok" day and then happen to look down at the ring and it goes downhill after that...I feel you may need to put it away. Think about what Michael would want you to do with the rest of life. Or if you had gone 1st, what would you have wanted Michael to do.

Anonymous Says:
July 23, 2011 at 9:31 AM

When you feel the time is right, you can do it. One suggestion would be to save them for your children. You never know, they may want them when they get married. As always; lifting you and your family up in prayer.

kim Says:
July 23, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Jene, i wanted you to know i watched the memorial service today. It was exactly what i needed . Only one other time in my life has a funeral service touched me like this one and michael had a part in it . It was Jim Roachs service. Michael sang like an angel . I wanted what he had . I wanted what yall had. I had so much to learn snd many broken days ahead of me. Glad i didnt know then what lay ahead. When we got engaged you and michael sent us a bottle of champagne . I wanted what yall had . The main thing i remember about michael is how much he cared for others. I felt so special when i talked to him. Like i do when i talk to my dad .what a gift he had . He has taught kyle so much through your blog . You are keeping his witness going by sharing about michael he continues to share Christ even from zHeaven . Trials are facing us but your preacher spoke to me today as i heard Gods word .michael sang like an angel in his own service . Love you sweet sister . Kim

kim Says:
July 23, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I don't usually comment twice. I know that everything you do is guided by the Holy Spirit. So it goes without saying that your Counselor will surely guide and direct the time place and day and month and year you decide to take it off. You could split it 3 ways. My family did that. Half the circle was the old ring and the other half the jeweler added to make it a circle. Love you and hope to see you one day to visit. Praying for u always!

Anonymous Says:
July 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM

My thought would be that since the ring is a symbol of unity, don't take it off unless you can say you don't feel united to him. You seem to be screaming that you DO feel united; so I say DON'T take it off. You're never stuck with one decision; you can always decide differently later.

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