It wasn’t the diamond that I loved so much, I think. It was the smooth curve and deep v in the ring that made it unlike any other wedding set I had seen. It was the curve and points of the pearl ring that went with the set.
It was how they were stored, nestled in deep green velvet in the small plastic white ring box they came in. They meant that my parents had once been together and much like these rings – they were smooth, rough, coming together, pulling apart.
Loose in the box was a third ring – heavier, darker. It was a hand-crafted silver wedding band my father had bartered out of another artist with the precious pay of acrylics or pottery. At one point in the past, this dark stormy ring had a partner – but the partner is now at the bottom of Harlan County damn in Nebraska, under thirty years of silt.
I’m not a sad child of divorce. Let me be clear – my parents divorced and went on to find lovely partners and build amazing new families of which I am a part. In the ensuing years, I’ve gone from only child to one surrounded by siblings, from having two parents to having four. I’m happy with the lives they built. Still, I love having the symbols of the time they were together.
"At one point in the past, this dark stormy ring had a partner – but the partner is now at the bottom of Harlan County damn in Nebraska, under thirty years of silt."
When I opened the gift of that small white box on my 18th birthday to see the rings staring back at me, I was delighted. And later, when I chose my own wedding band, I found something that echoed the waves, the freedom, the loveliness of my parents’ rings.
"I love having the symbols of the time they were together."