December 3, 2018 - a Significant Date

>> Wednesday, December 12, 2018

In May of 2013 my husband and I gave a party to celebrate John’s cancer being in remission.  In front of our friends we exchanged vows and placed new matching wedding rings on our fingers.  We announced we were now ready for our “bonus” round. For two years we traveled, laughed and loved.  

A few days after his death, I entered a jewelry store and inquired about etched wedding bands.  It was suggested I go to Walmart for that. Even though that seemed below my worthy cause, I did.  I purchased a Tungsten band with the words “always and forever” etched around it. Then I slid it on my wedding ring finger.  It seemed a bit crowded there, but it contained the message I wanted.   

Five months after his death, I traveled to Israel.  I had longed to go there, but John had never had that desire.  It was everything I had dreamed it would be.  And I wanted a souvenir to remind me of Israel … and my love for John.  My big purchase was a silver ring with the words “I am my beloved’s” etched in Hebrew. I placed it on my right hand. 

I’ve worn that Israeli ring for three years.  Suddenly, it began to irritate my little finger.  I could feel no rough spots, so tried to ignore it.  It worsened.  

On December 3, 2018, as I sat on a bench in my closet preparing to put on my shoes, I placed my hands in my lap.  And I contemplated.  Was I willing to keep wearing something that could possibly cause a skin issue?  

I removed my Israeli ring. 

As I held it in my hand, I was flooded with memories of who I was with, where I was and how I cried when I put it on my finger in Israel.  Why would it suddenly cause an irritation?  My eyes were drawn to my hands in my lap.  My right hand seemed naked … and my left hand seemed crowded with two rings.  Did I dare remove one?  

More contemplation.  

Without any emotion, I slid my wedding ring from my finger … the one placed there by my beloved.  It seemed this was the next step in my grief journey.  But what to do with it now?  Since his death I have worn John’s wedding ring on a chain around my neck. It seemed appropriate to place my wedding ring on that same chain.  Since my ring was smaller, it nestled nicely within his. Perfect.  I could feel John’s approval.  

My grief journey has been taken with baby steps.  It’s a journey that can’t be forced … and it is different for everyone.  

I’m pleased with my progress. 

 “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”John 16:22 (NIV)


Rita Garcia December 12, 2018 at 1:15 PM  

Joy, I've followed your posts as you've shared bits and pieces of your journey, I admire you, your courage, and strength. I'm sure you've help many others going through similar journeys. Thank you, my friend!

Joy Bach December 12, 2018 at 1:59 PM  

Rita, I really appreciate your words. Thanks.

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