Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: No Jewel As Perfect

Somewhere among folds of laundry, or perhaps lodged behind a hidden crevice, my favorite ring -- the one that is just slightly too big -- is lost.

This is not my favorite ring that I switch out with my huge collection of other rings whenever the mood strikes me.  This is my favorite ring that never leaves my finger, and even if it did, I'd have nothing to replace it with because I don't have many rings.  It's left an invisible weight on my finger.  The phantom ring left in its place, though, is no comfort.

I could swear it just slipped off.  Just now, while I was sorting piles of delicates and towels.  While I smoothed the bed sheets and fluffed the pillows. While I pulled my hand from my pocket.  While I dug in my purse. 

But in truth it could have been gone for days, meaning the only reason my finger feels the memory of its weight so distinctly is because I am thinking about it so much.  I think, therefore, it's true.

In whatever spare moments I could find, I've sifted through our home, one item -- one inch -- at a time, coming up empty-handed.  Empty-fingered.  And I'm sad.  That ring is special to me in ways that most of my belongings are not.  It has meaning.  It holds memories.  It encapsulates a little bit of time.

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As a relatively new couple, Justin and I were stereotypically in love.  The air around us could have been perfumed with stink, and the places we visited could have been garbage-filled; we wouldn't have noticed, so goofily in-love were we.  We were desperate for one another, and still very young. 

Walking around the mall at Christmas one year, we held hands and melted into each other's eyes every so often.  We passed a jewelry store.  There was a little-bitty diamond ring there.  As tiny as a flea, and with almost as much tenacity as one, it jumped into my imagination and held on tight. 

I wanted a diamond ring, and there was no way I could presume to ask my new love to get it for me.  A diamond ring needed to be heartfelt, not begged.  It needed to mean something, not be a simple gift.  But somehow, the look in my puppy dog eyes or my sugar-coatedly hopeful smile convinced Justin of my wish. 

Just as one glance at my face gave away my wish to have Justin give me a ring, one glance at his face tattled the moment he'd decided to buy me that ring. 

I knew he'd give me a ring for Christmas. 

Later that day, away from the intoxication of Justin's presence, I thought.  I knew we hadn't been together very long.  I knew a diamond ring -- no matter how tiny -- was a symbol to the world.  I knew what my dad would think about it... 

And I panicked.  Suddenly, nothing seemed worse to me than a diamond ring from the boy I'd been dating for less than 6 months.  He couldn't give me a ring -- because I knew he was the man I wanted to marry.  I wanted a diamond ring from him to be nothing short of COMMITMENT, and it wasn't time for that yet.  Or if it was, I didn't want it to be in response to my hinting eyes at a jewelry store. 

The next time I saw him, I blurted out an awkward statement: I think looking at a diamond ring might have been a mistake and I don't want you to get it for me no matter what I SEEMED to be saying and I love you and want a diamond ring to be somewhere in our future but please please please don't get me one now! 

Understandably, Justin was baffled.  But more than that, he was a little flustered.  Because you see, unknown to me, he'd already bought the ring. 

That very day, he returned it to the jewelry store.  No questions asked.  No diamonds lurked in my immediate future, and I could breathe again. 

Christmas came; I received a small, velvet box from Justin.  Inside it, predictably, was a ring. 

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But not the diamond ring.  This ring was something better.  A deep blue star sapphire, wrapped in delicate arms of gold.  It was beautiful, and it fit my personality perfectly.  Lovely but not sparkly, simple but interesting. 

Plus -- and best of all -- it wasn't a diamond. 

This ring was the first piece of jewelry given to me by my future husband, and I adored it.

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I miss my ring.  I have this certainty lodged in my heart that tells me I'll (of course!) find it.  It's got to be in the house somewhere, and I've got to happen across it sometime.  Right?

Only...what if it fell off outside the house?  While playing with the girls in the back yard?  While pulling my arms away from Lauren as I handed her over to her preschool teacher?  While lifting my purse at the dentist's office? 

What then?  What if I don't ever find it, I wonder?

As I write this, I peek across the couch to where Justin is sitting.  Unfailingly, un-lose-ably, with love and humor and affection and responsibility -- he's next to me.

I have the man who gave me the ring. 

What more could I possibly need?



Where did you find the Bigger Picture this week?  Share it with us today at Melissa's place!

13 comments:

  1. That's such a sweet story and I know Justin's a treasure, but still...I hope you find your ring!

    (Maybe you should mention it to the dentist? And the people at the school?)

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  2. Such a sweet story! I do hope you find it!

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  3. So sweet! I hope you find your ring soon!

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  4. I completely empathize with you. So sorry you can't find it. I have lost things before that meant a lot to me, and... have two special rings myself - my engagement ring which my hubby gave to me during a difficult time and had it made for me and it looks like I designed it myself - and.... my Dad's ring - which had been his Dad's - given to me by my Mom when my Dad died a few years ago. I wear it when I want him near. But you are right - you have your man near and that trumps any ring, but.... still - I hope you find it (my sister in law found her wedding band two years from when she lost it inside a gardening glove in a pot in the garage - there is hope!).

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  5. you are too sweet, I so hope you find that ring.

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  6. This was so sweet! Makes me want to run upstairs and put on the bracelet Ben gave me early on in our relationship :) I hope you find it, my friend!

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  7. I hope it's found...
    But thank goodness you have him :)

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  8. Sarah, what a great description of romance and love as it grows in maturity. We had a similar story, I wanted a certain ring to be my engagement ring while Dan didn't see it to be one. Two years after we married he bought me the one I had wanted, I lost one of the stones in it. It sits in my jewelery box waiting for the day I replace the missing stone.

    I hope you find your ring!

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  9. Oh, I hope it turns up! Those early heartfelt gifts are special. But not as great as a good guy. Mine gave me a saffire necklace once which I adored. Sadly, an idiot stole it. But, I have the real gem.

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  10. Oh I have been there, with my wedding rings, I thought for sure they were gone forever.

    I hope you find your ring, I'm sure you will!

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  11. I hope you find it, but you are right the guy is so much more important than the ring.

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  12. I'm so glad Lenae linked this post for BPB's birthday. Such a wonderful post! And yet it left me wondering...did you find that ring?

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?