Friday, February 5, 2021

Maria's Ring Story

What would you do if you had two sets of wedding rings? Maria and I lived in the same part of Northeast Ohio but never met until after her second husband died and she was able to come spend the weekend with me and about 20 other widow friends in 2015. What a great time we had! We still talk about it! Even in her fresh grief, no one could quench Maria's love and joy. Here's her ring story: 

 My first husband, because we were poor college students, bought an engagement ring with the tiniest chip of a diamond. I thought it was beautiful and - I didn't like wearing large rings (large earrings, yes - he knew that, too!). The wedding ring he bought me was also small and elegant, with a tiny, decorative etching on one side. His wedding ring was a family heirloom, which I am keeping for my son if the Lord has marriage in mind for him. 

On our tenth anniversary, Kevin bought a bracelet for me that looked almost identical to my
wedding ring. He must have really done his homework! I lost that little diamond chip a couple of times, and the Lord led me back to it, which I thought was a beautiful demonstration of His loving kindness! Kevin wanted to buy me a "nicer" ring when we were in a better financial situation, but I refused. That was my engagement ring, and I cherished it for what it was. When Kevin passed away 12 years ago in 2009, I wore my rings for several months until I decided it was time to put them in a special place - again, in safekeeping for my son, if he chooses to use them. I wear my lovely bracelet to church every week, remembering the way we used to minister in music and in teaching our singles group together. I feel he is with me always in my heart, but the bracelet is a tangible reminder of our love and unity.

My second husband was unfortunately unemployed when we decided we just needed to trust in the Lord's provision and get married. I'm glad we didn't wait. Neither of us imagined that the Lord would take him home three years into our marriage. "Kevin2" (yes, he was also named Kevin) felt badly about his situation and that he couldn't buy me a proper ring. My mother gave him her engagement ring for me to wear - a gorgeous, elegant, simple, single diamond from 1956, not at all ostentatious. My dad had very good taste! 

I wore it proudly, because I value family heirlooms a great deal. We were able to buy a nice set of simple gold bands for each of us when we were married a few months later. When Kevin passed away in 2015, I wore my wedding ring on my left hand for several months, just to feel him near me while I tried to take in the shock. Eventually, I put all the rings in a safe place for future family weddings. I have 5 grandsons and 2 granddaughters that may want to use them...and tell the stories that went with them.

- Maria

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