Friday, July 2, 2010

the ring

They sat in the front seat talking while I stared out the back window of the car. "Hey Ruth, you know about mom's new ring?".."Yeah. You told me at church." I replied and smiled vacantly into the front of the car. It was nice. It was a beautiful ring with a finely cut diamond which sparkled and shone. They had been married fifty years and she was proud of the longevity of her marriage and of her ring. He was very frugal. "Yeah. Dad only spent a hundred and fifty dollars on her wedding ring.".."Well.."..."Oh yeah, he ordered it from someplace."..."Through the mail!" and they laughed, this friend of mine and her mother. It was a family story, they shared, with all the memories and emotions which cling to such stories.

The trees outside rushed past. The sky was already darkening. It was new summer and the days were becoming shorter. As they talked I thought about interjecting, but instead kept to myself and thought of my grandmother and her simple ring of cast metal which looked like a daisy chain. She told me about her first wedding ring and how precious it was to her and how when it wore out, because it was simple and inexpensive, he, my grandfather, bought her a diamond set. Their time together, she always felt, was too short. Thirty-eight years. She so loved him. We were sitting in the spare bedroom of her house when she told me the story of the ring. The telling was a gift from her to me and came after seeing my simple gold band. We bought it at a pawn shop, my ex-husband and I. Eighteen carats of soft fine gold, which for years sat tucked away in a small box and has since been lost.

"Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned." Song of Songs 8:7

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