Loss of a Symbol

Having a few days off after Easter has given me time to catch up on a few things. Taxes. Yard work. Today I was mowing past the six-foot high trunk of an apple tree felled by lightning shortly after we moved in. I gave the tree a friendly push, and a creak and a few seconds later, I had a huge chunk of cellulose crashing into the grass. And another small project to maneuver it into the woodpile. (Wood that we never burn because my other family members dislike the smell of burning tree chunks.)

Anyway, I noticed a tear in the finger of my left work glove, and gave it little more thought. I finished the mowing and after stripping my gloves off, noticed my wedding band was missing. What a catastrophe!

On moving day almost four years ago, the diamond plucked off her engagement ring, and that was traumatic enough.

Despite growing up as the son of a jeweler, I’ve never felt comfortable with things on my fingers, wrists, and around my neck. Never worn a cross. I gave up wearing rings in college. I lost a wristwatch in 1982, and switched to keeping time in my pocket. Now I have a phone.

I loved having a wedding band, though, even if I frequently played with it. I did notice with weight loss it was looser on my finger–I was even able to get it on my thumb, with a twist. It would have been safer there, I suppose. The rattling of mower engine or the rolling of a person-size stump across the backyard wouldn’t have dislodged it from my finger.

My wife said insurance would replace it, and we could get it blessed and renew our vows. And I suppose that’s a comfort. I poked and moped around the backyard for about a half-hour, then decided to tell the world. How often do people lose wedding day rings? How do you treat the loss of such an important and symbolic object? The love and commitment and sacrament it represents is much more precious, of course, But still …

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Loss of a Symbol

  1. Liam says:

    (borrow a metal detector)

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