On a beautiful Saturday morning I attended a baby shower, celebrating a mama and her baby with other women of all generations. Instead of playing all the baby shower games and opening gifts, this was a simple and relaxing get-together with brunch and conversation – a truly delightful time. I didn’t know a lot of people in the room so I set up my post in the corner, quietly smiling every now and then.
The shyness in me drifted away, and I found myself talking to a mom of teenagers. She tells me about all the activities they are doing and how busy they are, and while she’s talking, I glance down at my left hand and notice that my wedding ring is missing. All I see on the palm of my hand is my wedding band and the hard callus below it. Panic immediately sets into my body but I try to stay calm and engaged in conversation so I don’t create a scene. I apologize and tell a few people that I’ve lost my wedding ring. We search the house, and I retrace my steps, but no luck. The host asks for my phone number so she can contact me if she finds it and then asks, “Are you ok?” Fighting tears, I say, “Yeah I’m ok. It’ll be fine.” And I walk out the door before the tears start streaming down my face.
My mind started to race thinking about where my wedding ring could be, how my husband would react to the news, and mourning the fact that I lost the most beautiful piece of jewelry gifted to me. I never thought I’d have such a visceral reaction to losing something I wear every day.
Ten years ago, my husband (then boyfriend) proposed with a beautiful diamond setting. He and I took a trip to Wisconsin for a nice dinner with his family and at that time I got to pick out the stone. Instead of a diamond, I decided to go with an opal – a beautiful, fiery stone that changes color in the light. My favorite part of my wedding ring is the opal stone. Depending on the light, it can be turquoise, green, or a golden yellow, and when the light really hits I can see a small spark of red. It is truly a remarkable stone, so the thought of not having it anymore was absolutely devastating to me.
Long story short, I found it. Yay! It slipped off my finger after date night. I accidentally dropped my phone in between the console and front seat of my car (why does that always happen?!) and as I brought my hand up, the ring slid right off of my finger. I went eighteen hours without my wedding ring, but it felt like a lifetime.
Now, when I hold my left hand in front of me, I see a beautiful opal wedding ring and a symbol of my marriage. And when I flip my hand over to see the palm of my hand, I notice something else meaningful to me – a small, hardened callus below my ring from carrying my baby’s car seat. My wedding ring has rubbed against the skin of my hand while carrying my baby in his carseat, walking from the house to the car almost every day. Someday, my baby will grow up and be done with car seats, which means that callus won’t be there anymore.
And while the back of my hand displays the most beautiful stone I have ever seen, the palm of my hand displays the two most meaningful parts of who I am – a wife and a mother.