Saturday, February 13, 2010

"My Ring!!"

Last night, I got B's blessing to write about something that happened on our trip with his family to the BVIs in January. You may have heard about it by now; I know both Moms know, as do a few of my siblings and both of B's.

One day, our sailboat docked off Jost Van Dyke for an afternoon at the bubble pool. We moored by Foxy's and hiked the 15 minutes or so it took to get to the pool, a decently sized inlet that made me feel like a California coast sea anemone.

The pool was gorgeous. A tiny beach led to the water which was surrounded by smooth rocks on the beach side and soaring boulders on the ocean side. Each time a wave roared through, the pool would fill with a swooshing fizz of bubbles that made hot tub jets seem like a bubble bath. (Check out the pic, and keep in mind that it's not us!)

So we tiptoed our way into the pool, beers or wine cup in hand. B's Mom and I stood near the beach, enjoying the bubbles around our toes, while the boys ventured deeper, sitting on the rocks or floating in the middle of the bubbly bath.

After a while, B's Mom and I got out to go stand in the shade on the beach when I saw B get clobbered by a wave and then sputter "My ring!"

The next ten minutes were a frantic search for B's ring, his wedding band. Each time the water calmed, we'd look to see if we could spot it twinkling on the beach or shining in the shallows of a tidal pool. Strangers helped us, B's brothers were diligent, and B himself was heartsick. It actually broke my heart to see how upset he was.

After 30 minutes of looking, despite the swelling sands and our total knowledge that the ring was either two inches under the beach or already swept out to sea, I gave B a big hug and asked him what he'd tell me if I'd be the one to lose my ring. "That there's nothing you can do about it so don't worry about it," he replied. And it's true. He keeps me calm so much that it was good for me to have a chance to do the same for him.

Plus, the ring was fully insured (in fact, we filed the claim and ordered the replacement while on the boat), so it wasn't a matter of "This is sad and we can't afford to fix it." I'd always thought myself to be a sentimental type, one that places a fair amount of value in physical things. Otherwise, how could I justify saving every piece of clothing with an ounce of emotional attachment (first date, first banquet/prom, etc) and ditching those with too much (the dress I was wearing when Mom and I went to the hospital)?

I honestly think that it was about it being B's ring. I know he didn't mean to lose it, so I certainly wasn't upset with him. I knew he was hurting because he lost it, so the last thing I wanted was for him to feel more upset. After all, this was something we could fix, right down to the blessing (more later). I finally got a smile out of him by telling him that I'd throw my rings in too and we'd just start over. Well, a smile from him and a big "NOO" from his family.

We decided that it would've been poetic if it weren't so irritating. After all, his ring was now resting where we celebrated our honeymoon. Goodness, if I could live there forever, I would! And now, of course, we have an excuse to go visit it every year or so. I'm pretty sure I can wrangle that out of B for years to come.

How's B today? He says it feels like the same ring (and it is, down to the inscription on the inside) and he's not worried about it and that it's much cleaner (fewer scratches as of now).

When we got back to Durham, we went to the Duke chapel and had the priest there bless it. He was super nice, a man that we'd asked to perform our ceremony, but who couldn't because he had to perform the commencement Mass. I think he was relieved when we got there that he wasn't blessing our rings as a recommitment ceremony following some massive fight, but rather a simple event to honor our commitment to each other as symbolized by this new ring.

I told Mom about the ceremony and she said, "What an amazing Valentine's Day present, to know that having his ring blessed in the church is important to your husband, that your vows and relationship are important to your husband." And she's (as always!) oh-so right.

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