Forgive me for making excuses, but I really have had a traumatic week. I wasn't going to write about it here, because I feel like all I've written over the past year are poor pitiful me type posts, and I was really hoping to start back to blogging on a more positive note.
But this is truly consuming me right now, despite my efforts to let it go, so write it I will.
I lost my wedding ring you see.
I really, really loved my wedding ring.
It was so beautiful, but I didn't love it because of it's material value. I loved it because of what it represented. I can still remember the day he presented it to me and asked me to marry him. I remember what I was wearing and what he was wearing and what we ate. It was Valentine's Day 1992, and as far as I knew, one much like any other. But it was a day that changed my life forever.
And my wedding ring had a colorful history. Remember this post?
Aside from that, it was cut off of my finger when I was pregnant with Pubescent One, and lay in my jewelry box, fractured and hopelessly twisted until we could afford to have it fixed. It was a long time. And I was ridiculously happy when at last I was able slip it back onto my finger. And happy that my fingers looked like fingers again, instead of fat pink sausages.
I love those stories. They're part of the fabric that has woven our lives together.
And now, all I have left is the stories. The ring is gone. Utterly, completely, irrevocably...gone.
You're wondering how, of course. And there is the worst part of my sorrow. I can blame only myself.
I've lost a lot of weight recently, you see. And my wedding ring had become so loose on my finger that it spun freely and often ended up completely upside down; the weight of the stone an unfamiliar one in my palm. I knew I needed to put it away. But I couldn't. I just felt so naked without it. So I thought I would put some string or some tape around it, the way I did with my highschool boyfriend's class ring. But I never got around to it.
The other night...a beautiful balmy spring night, watching my son play ball and chatting with the other parents...I looked down and realized with a sick, sinking horror, that my ring finger was naked. I happened to be sitting next to a sewer grate, and so I thought it had slipped off my finger when I was clapping or cheering and rolled into the sewer. It hadn't.
Then I thought it must have come off my finger when I toweled my hands in the restroom. Some of the other Moms helped me dig through that nasty, disgusting trash piece by piece. But it wasn't there.
Then I thought that perhaps it had been flung from my finger when I tossed a Gatorade over a chain link fence into the dugout for Pubescent One. The boys scoured the dugout, emptied out every bat bag and cooler and upended every pair of stinky, mucky tennis shoes. They searched as though I had offered a fat reward, the sweet things. Adolescent boys might seem surly and monosyllabic, but they are really, at the core, diehard romantics. They were all so sad for me, and determined to find it.
Then, I decided that it had been washed down the drain when I washed my hands. But the sink traps were removed by very helpful park maintenance personel...to no avail. Not surprising. Who knows how many people washed their hands after I did?
I retraced my steps. Unfortunately it had been an unusually busy day and I had been all over town: Weight Watchers, the grocery store, the walking track at the park, a meeting at Diminutive One's school, the Orthodonstist, a fast food restaurant, a gas station and then the ballpark.
But I remembered applying lotion in the lobby of the school. It was on my finger then. And I was fairly certain that it was on my finger at the ballpark at some point. I can't swear to it, but I think so.
So where is it? Lying in the grass, the telltale sparkle dulled by ballfield dirt? In the pocket of some child, who picked it up because it was pretty, never guessing it's true worth, either in money or memories? Or some adult who did?
I don't know. And people, it made me sick. I was sick to my stomach and sick at heart and just....furious with myself.
But I'm trying to let it go. Because you know....
I'd rather lose the ring, than the man who put it on my finger seventeen years ago.
In December, while visiting my parents, there was a medical emergency which turned out to be relatively minor. But I thought, for a short while, that I might be losing my husband. And recalling that horror made the missing ring seem almost insignificant.
It's a thing. A pretty thing. A sentimental thing. An expensive thing. But still just a thing.
I can replace a ring. I can't replace him. The ring is lost, yes, but without him, it would be me who was lost.
It's okay. And I'm beginning to breathe again.