It was dark when we arrived home with chilly noses and shivering limbs. We stripped off fleeces, and I helped Bear with his football gear. He was tired and worn from an evening of practice. I was tired and worn from a day of laundry, and cleaning, and cooking.
Ash-man began prepping his school lunch, and Bella climbed the stairs to her room. Then I gasped, “Oh no!” as I looked down at my left hand and saw the bare finger where my ring had been.
It was gone.
Not my wedding ring…no, that is tucked safely away in my jewelry box awaiting a new diamond after I lost one at Disney World. Not my grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s wedding rings which I wear together as a replacement for my own.
It was a simple spiral pinky ring that was missing. I had just inherited it from one of three boxes of jewelry from my grandmother’s home. It is probably not very valuable in the eyes of a jeweler. But it was priceless to me, especially in these days as my grandmother moves into a nursing home and we empty her house into boxes to either be inherited or given away.
My heart is heavy these days as I watch the life of my grandmother slowly fade away. And that ring was a piece of her, a part of her, a part of me.
Ash ran outside and searched the car and all our football gear. “We can go back, Mom!” Ash cried as he came back inside. “We can take our flashlights and scour the field.”
I knew we could not. Not then. I needed to get weary children to bed and prepare them for the next day’s school and cross-country and upcoming retreat. I needed to care for their bodies more than I needed to care for my heart.
I smiled, pushing his hair back from his forehead, a gesture I do more from habit than anything these days, “It’s okay.” I sighed. “I’m sad. But it’s a ring, a piece of metal. It will be okay. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow and look in the daylight.”
The children kept trying to figure out what to do to fix things and finally decided they would buy a ring for me for my birthday to replace it. My heart was so warmed by their love, their concern.
I got them tucked in bed, kissed and snuggled. I texted Brian who was at a meeting and told him what happened. I just needed to share with him, because I knew he would understand my sadness. We worked out a plan for going to search for it in the morning.
My Ash slipped out of bed and back downstairs and found me on the kitchen floor, head on my knees, tears in my eyes. He sat with me, arm over my back, and head on my shoulder. “I’m sorry, Mom.” he whispered.
It was 10:00 when I felt the weight of Bri as he sat on the edge of our bed, home from his meeting, hand on my back. “Hey,” he said, waking me. “I’m going over to the field with my flashlight to look.”
I’m not sure I comprehended much in my sleepiness, but mumbled something rather incoherent about how he didn’t have to do that.
No. He didn’t have to. He wanted to. Because he knew me. He knew my heart.
And it was around midnight when he woke me with ring in hand after searching a field in the dark of night for over an hour.
I thought of him today when I read these words by Ann at A Holy Experience, “True love isn’t found. It’s carved. Carved out of sacrifice. Carved out of covenant. Carved out of two dying to the loneliness of self to be made into one.” (I’d encourage you to read the whole post: The Real Love Stories… and Why There Really Are No Blurred Lines. It is so good and so true.)
I take him for granted far too often. I find fault with him far too often.
I fail him far too often.
He carves our marriage well. No, not perfectly. He fails me, too.
But his carvings are much more lovely than mine.
Truly, there are no blurred lines here.
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