While putting away my rings in my new jewelry holder inside my dresser…I look down and think- rings are such an interesting custom.
Did you know that concept of a ring dates back to the 3rd century? The ring as a symbol of unity is generally credited to the Egyptians with adaptations by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The top right ring is my class ring. Walled Lake Northern, class of 2011. A blue sapphire because blue is my favorite color, on the side it has a treble clef that symbolizes my love for music.
The top middle ring was a promise ring given to me by my first boyfriend. We exchanged them at Christmas, I don’t remember how long we were together when we got them…but I do remember in the naivete of first love that we would be together forever.
The furthest left rings, top and bottom are the rings that Sean and I chose to exchange when we said our wedding vows. He designed my ring, he knew I liked colored stones as opposed to diamonds, he chose a blue topaz for the center gem because Topaz is my birthstone and blue is my favorite color. About four months before we said “I do” we went to pick out wedding bands, he chose this band because he liked that it was modern, yet traditional, practical and not flashy but slightly unique with the black band (black was his favorite color)- the characteristics of the ring much reflected the wearer himself.
Because of the low setting on my center stone, I was limited to the few bands that bowed in the center. The one we picked complimented the engagement ring well and was inexpensive which for a young couple on a budget was perfect. A few weeks later I picked up the newly sautered bands and eagerly slipped it on my ring finger to see how it looked.
Later that day I was told it’s bad luck to wear your wedding band before the big day.
Now I wonder if maybe that’s why things ended the way they did…
One my wedding day, we promised to love, protect and honor one another. I thought we would be together forever.
One hundred and sixty-five days after Sean died, on what would have been our third wedding anniversary I took my wedding ring off and put it away for good.
I know longer felt married.
Until death do us part had come and he had gone.
I had a habit on running my thumb over the back of my ring finger, for years it was met with the familiar sensation of my engagement and wedding band.
There used to be a tan line when I’d take my ring off.
There used to be an indentation under my knuckle from the tight fitting of the band.
Now any physical indication of my wedding band is gone.
I used to feel naked without my wedding band and now, from time to time, if I slip it on my finger- it feels foreign.
The bottom center ring used to be a sapphire solitaire. Sean’s grandmother, Kathy, had purchased it and a star Sapphire in Aruba and given them to Sean as gifts to hold onto when he was younger. They sat, forgotten, in their boxes until Sean died and I started going through our things, deciding what to take with me on the plane back home because I didn’t trust the movers with it.
I decided to have rings made for myself and my mother-in-law, Debbie, for Mother’s Day 2018. It would be the first one for both of us without Sean. Kathy had been in poor health for a long time, and was declining- I thought it would be comforting for Debbie to have something that her mother had given to her son after they were both gone. I took the gems into a local jeweler, had them appraised and picked settings for the stones. Two weeks later I had the ring you see pictured- I wear it on my right ring finger every day.
After Sean died and I joined multiple widow’s support Facebook pages, I started hearing about “widow’s rings”. Typically, I widow’s ring is constructed from the stones in her original wedding band, sometimes combined with her late husband’s ring.
I couldn’t bear to take apart my wedding ring, but in a way, I like to think of this ring is my “widow’s” ring.
The last ring was a Christmas gift to myself from Santa. I decided I wanted a modern “mother’s ring”, so it is set with Topaz for Luke and an Emerald for Gwendolyn. I wear it on my left middle finger everyday.
I find it so interesting to look at something so simple as a ring, and see that each in each curve, each stone- a story.
A memory of a happy time.
Of love…and of love lost.