34 years ago today, two kids, 17 and 19, got married by a justice at the courthouse. Her mother had to sign a permission document before the girl could be married, though oddly, she never had to sign a damn thing when the two young people had had a baby six months before! Shows you where the Government's priorities are, doesn't it?
Anyway, those two knuckle-headed kids grew up to be Paul and me. We had plans for today. We were going to go over to the mainland, do some shopping and have a nice dinner at a new restaurant. But I woke up with yet another anxiety attack, and was forced to retreat back to bed with an Ativan and a Gravol on board. I didn’t wake up until 3:00 in the afternoon (the time our ferry was to leave!) and so Paul’s plans were spoiled. I told him how sorry I was that I had ruined his day, but he pooh-poohed it, and said he was just as happy to stay home with me. We made a reservation at our one and only “fine dining” restaurant, and that would do that trick.
I knew he had gone out for a walk with Kiba while I was still in bed, and I looked for my share of the mail. “Nothing for me?” I asked. “Just some flyers. They’re on your keyboard.” Along with a big, fat envelope! Oh, dear. I didn’t have a card for Paul, as I was planning on getting on when we went over today, so again I felt badly. But his card was perfect, as always, and I had a lovely cry over the sentiments within. As I scratched the latex off the instant tickets Paul always includes in a card, he disappeared into the other room. I didn’t notice him come back in, until he stood in front of me, eyes gleaming with a special secret, one hand behind his back.
And then, he sank to his knees, causing me to gasp out loud, an intimation of what was to come leaping into my brain! “I didn’t do a very good job of this the first time around, and although it’s not the way I had planned for today, I hope it will be better than the last time. I love you more than I can say. I always have, and I always will.” And from behind his back come a BOX! A small box. A ring box.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I lost my wedding rings this summer while on vacation. Though several other small items that seemed to have gone missing have since showed up, my rings never did. It broke my heart to have to tell Paul that I had lost those rings, and I missed them every day. And, it seems, my loss was apparent to Paul, as well.
In the last few days, I had been perusing jewellery websites, showing various rings to Paul, asking what he thought of them. I was sussing out the situation, as I didn’t know if he felt comfortable replacing my rings at all, or if I even had any business asking him to do so, since I was the one who had lost them. But I showed him a few, and he seemed to think they were nice enough. I even thought that when we went over to do the shopping today, we could stop in at the local jeweller’s and have a look at what they had in store. I thought I would see some rings on this finger, eventually.
Back to this afternoon: that box! I sobbed, both in shock and sheer joy, as he fumbled that silly little box open, and there, nestled on the grey silk, two rings, a wedding set, made for a bride, chosen for a wife, to replace their humble forbears, lost somewhere in the sun and sand. I sobbed, and so did my husband. He wailed, “I swore, I SWORE to myself I wouldn’t cry! I was going to be all stoic and strong. I had a PLAN!” I laughed at him. How much better could this possibly be? As we embraced, and wet each other collars with our happy tears, I heard him mumble, “Are they alright?”
ALL THEY ALRIGHT?! I’ll leave it you, good people. Are they alright?
Sometimes life is so sweet, it feels like theft. Like you owe someone for how wonderful this is. And I do. I owe it to my husband. For 34 years of love, consideration, kindness, and joy. Thank you, Paul. And, yes, they’re perfect.