Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Daddy's ring

My parents separated when I was 15. The marriage itself was a controversial one for many reasons, not the least of which was the 27 year age gap between the 45 year old groom and 18 year old bride.

As an only child, living in a house with 2 very unhappy adults, I had seen the writing on the wall years before Dad moved out. In our close knit extended family, having Dad stop attending functions at my grandparents house was not only a bit uncomfortable, but it was a definitive sign of things to come.

By the time my parents separated, they had been together for almost 20 years. By the time they divorced, it was almost a 35 year "marriage".

Dad is nothing if not a creature of habit. His neighbors can "set their watches" (by their own admission) based on when he goes to breakfast, or when he moves his car out of the afternoon sun and into the shade of the giant evergreen in the complex common area. In my almost 30 years, there are 2 things that I have never, EVER seen Dad without.... His teeth (he had his teeth pulled @ 19 to stop some infection or illness, and has had full upper & lower denture plates since then), and his wedding band.

Last night, after some pulling and twisting, and with the help of a kind nurse's aid and a few dabs of vaseline, we got the ring off of his swollen finger. Now, I wear it on my right hand. Somehow, it manages to feel both completely foreign, and absolutely natural.

He told me that he wanted me to have it. He has 2 other daughters from his first marriage, but - in his own words - that ring has no ties to them. It belongs to me.

Is it just for safe-keeping? Or is this the start of Dad saying his good-byes?

3 Comments:

Meredith said...

Aww that is very sweet for him to give it to you and I can tell it means a lot. I am sure it is also very hard. You are in our prayers!! ((hugs))

Lori said...

Wow, Beth. What a symbol, of so many things.

Sending a big hug your way.

Kaci said...

Aww - I have that wet shiny eye look, when it's not quite a tear but it's working towards it. (((hugs)))