Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Fellowship and the Ring, part 2

When we got in the house, we found the guys from the Fellowship Group gathered taking their noon hours. They asked us what was up, and we said, frankly, that it was one of the worst days yet.

They immediately surrounded us in a circle and began praying for us. God came very near to us, and soon several of us were in tears, me especially.

Suddenly, one of the guys stopped praying and said that God was going to send an angel to help us, to help me, to preserve our marriage. I was excited and apprehensive about that, wondering what it could mean.

I must interject something here. I had another reason for wanting to hang on and not give in to the invisible pressure to abandon my marriage. When we got married, back in 1981, I got an unusual wedding gift. One of my uncles gave us a decorative plate that said "Silver Wedding" in German on it. It was white with real silver lettering and decorations. He had picked it up at a flea market in Germany. At the time, I thought it was a wonderful token of good faith, because the silver anniversary is the twenty-fifth. He was assuming our marriage would last at least twenty-five years!

Well, at this point in my story, we had been married about twenty-four years. I kept telling myself, "I have to make it to the plate, I have to make it to the plate." Uncle Jon believed in us, lots of other people did too. Our kids were trusting us. We promised. What was I thinking? I had to make it to the plate.

But the fight wasn't over yet. I still had the pressure, the thoughts, the irritation, the restlessness, the frustration.

And then I had a dream.

I dreamed I was talking with a young man in a leather uniform jacket of some sort. He was very nice, and friendly, and smiled at me a lot. I had the sense that I had just had an encounter of some sort, and this was the end of it-- as if he had just brought me back, but the memory of it was being erased.

And then I saw two bridges. One was very old, and appeared rickety, but in fact, it was solid and usable. The other was brand new, with a wide highway running over it. I knew I had to get over to the other side one way or another, but I was having a terrible time choosing which bridge to use. Finally the man stepped up, smiling, and said it didn't matter. Both were fine, and I could go whichever way I wanted. The main thing was to cross over. So I made a decision.

At this point, I woke up. I can't remember which bridge I chose (I have a sense that it was the old one), but I had a great feeling of relief and accomplishment the next day, and oddly, whatever was pushing me and driving me to despise my husband had gone.

Things began to improve from that day on. Our relationship regained its old footing, and we were friends again. It was such a relief!

About a year later, Hubby and I took a day to go shopping and running errands. One of the things on our list was to stop at a pawn shop to look at tools. Of course, my attention span for tools isn't as long as Hubby's, so soon I began looking around for something more interesting, and I found a counter full of jewelry, mostly rings. In fact, mostly wedding rings.

I was enjoying browsing the rings, letting the salesman get out different ones for me to try on. Then suddenly I saw it. A ring almost exactly like the one I had lost: a medium wide gold band with a marquis diamond that looked to be the exact size of mine. It was soldered to a matching wedding band that had a teeny diamond chip in the center of it, which my original band did not have, and both had a carved split that added interest and dimensionality, which my rings had not had, but the general shape, size, and feel was like deja vu.

I felt like I couldn't breathe. The person behind the counter asked if I'd like to try any others, and I asked if I could try on that one. I put it on and it fit exactly!

By this time Hubby had come to see what I was doing. I held out my hand and showed him. At first, he didn't quite get it. "Oh, that's nice. It looks kinda like yours, doesn't it?"

Yes! Yes, it does! That means something! Can we get it? Can we get it? Please, please, please, please, please, please, please? Please?

Well, that's what I was thinking. What I said was something like, "Yeah. Isn't that kinda cool? I wonder what they want for it?" I checked the tag, reality setting in. We really didn't have money for rings, any more then than fifteen years earlier. There were so many things of higher priority than replacement wedding rings. Think of all the starving children in Africa. Think of the homeless. Think of our kids, our business.

$65. Sixty-five dollars? That's it? I looked inside the rings. Maybe they were cheap imitation. No, 14 karat gold. Size 5. My size.

The salesman asked if I wanted to buy the ring. I looked at Hubby. I felt so much longing I was afraid to say anything. I wanted him to see, to understand, to do this for me. It wouldn't be the same if I did it for myself.

But Hubby said nothing.

I reluctantly put the ring back on the counter.

"Well," Hubby said, "I'm done looking here. Shall we go?"

I nodded dumbly and followed him out to the car.... be continued.


My Ice Cream Diary said...

ACK! You are killing me here. There had better be a ring on your finger at the end of this story. I'm desperately waiting for part 3.

carrie said...

nooooooooooooooooo I want the rest of the story!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara said...

Suspense! I hate it. :) I was thinking - oh, he's going back to buy it for her without her knowing it. I know my husband did that once!