I wear my mom’s wedding ring. She gave it to me a couple of months before she died. She then asked for it back and said she wasn’t done wearing it yet. Just before or after she died, my dad gave it to me again. It was like both of them gave it to me and that made it very sweet.
A friend of mine put this comment in her status update on Facebook, “It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all. Mark Twain” One of her friends commented that she wears her grandmother’s wedding ring and added, “She and my great-grandpa had a really amazing love story so it makes me feel very honored to be entrusted with the responsiblity of honoring their legacy of love in my own life.”
Honoring their legacy of love in my own life. In a nutshell, that’s what my mom’s ring means to me. My parents didn’t have the perfect marriage, no one does. But I did spent a lifetime watching them “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” Ephesians 5:12. I spent a lifetime watching them make huge sacrifices for each other (and their kids). I spent a lifetime watching them not always do what they wanted to do, but considering the other and how it might affect them.
I watched my mom love my dad completely. She loved him until the day she died – 46 years and two days after she said, “I do.” I watched my mom do things for my dad I thought were ridiculous, because she loved him. I watched my mom love people like no one else I have ever seen. I watched her do things in the name of love that I wanted to strangle her for. Because, hey, I know it all.
I thank God for the example of my parents in my life. Let me stress again their marriage was not perfect. But I did have the amazing opportunity to see true, sacrificial love on both of their parts for 40 years and 15 days. And I have seen how my dad has continued to love and honor my mom after her death. How he reveres her. How he automatically knows he will never be able to find anyone else like her.
The sort of love my parents shared and practiced over the course of their marriage is in short supply these days. I can’t ever remember my mom running off and doing as she pleased. But I do remember my mother doing many, many things, probably more than she could have thought of by herself, because her husband wanted to make her happy. He encouraged her to go out and do things, he just didn’t always want to tag along :-). He bought her things she loved that she never would have gotten for herself. Because he loved her.
My mom worked hard. She didn’t work to progress in a career and pump up her ego. She didn’t work to fulfill herself. She didn’t work because she needed a break from her children. My mom went back to work when I was in high school because our family needed the money. She worked not because her husband was out doing as he pleased and someone had to earn an income. She worked a job because my parents were working together to provide for their family.
My mom didn’t live a life that was all about herself. I don’t want to live a life all about myself, how wonderfully decorated my house is, how perfect and accomplished my kids are, how cultured I am, how many vacations I can go on in a year. I want to live like my mom did. A life full of love.
That’s what my mom’s ring means to me. A legacy of love that I pray I have the strength to carry on.