“Is that vintage?” she asked a bit loudly, motioning to my left hand. In a room crowded with lawyers drinking wine and drumming up business, it was difficult to hear.
I looked down at my ring. It shone amber on sunny days, but now the green peridot surprised me with the brilliance of its sparkle under the dimmed lights.
It was one of those evenings when I felt particularly not married. I certainly was not alone in my status; there were dozens without a partner. But a tender heart can fail to reason, even when residing in the body of a logical lawyer.
Perhaps it was the introductions to the spouses of my fellow lawyers. Or running into the couple, married for forty years, who told a story about my former husband. Or talking to the beautiful young couple, newly engaged. Or simply being a widow on a Friday night.
Whatever it was, the moment I looked down at the ring, memories sped through my mind. How it was where I used to wear my mother’s wedding band as my own. How I decided to take it off nine months after John died. And how I came to wear this gem which was now the object of admiration.
Continuing to gaze at my ring, I explained with a smile.After John’s death, I eventually stopped wearing my wedding band. But I didn’t like the emptiness I saw on my hand. I searched for a something beautiful to wear it its place.
For months I had no success. Then, while on vacation with longtime friends, I came upon the ring that was just right. Simple but elegant. As I opened my wallet to pay the cashier, she grinned. My friends had already purchased it for me.
Now when I look at the third finger of my left hand, I don’t feel sad. I feel the love and generosity of dear friends. On this night, as I looked at my hand, I was reminded anew of the support that is there for me in the world.
We all long to love and be loved. The divorce experience can rob us of our hope that love can be ours. Some nights we feel the longing more intensely, and our hope can dim. We are likely to have many thoughts and beliefs as to the size, shape, or color of that love. But the truth is, there is plenty of love in the world to give and to receive. We just don’t always know what it will look like or where we will find it.
Every time I look at this ring, I am reminded. And I give thanks.