When your wedding ring breaks, things get complicated
That piece of jewelry, your wedding ring, is supposed to be the most meaningful gem, stone, or metal that you ever wear. But sometimes, it’s not. For me, that wasn’t the case. My wedding ring lead me to the most meaningful moment and space that I created for myself- the ring that’s on my finger now is an extension of that. Of promises to my wife, myself, my future child. And when I look down now, I see that stone flit sparks when the sun hits it just right, and it represents everything about how strong a woman, spouse, and fighter I am.
In my family, there is always an unspoken and incredibly gendered way of passing objects down. Women get the jewelry and men get…well, everything else mostly. Monetarily it does even out. I never thought much of it until my mom told me my brother had asked her for “the ring” and she said she needed to ask me. The ring in question was my mother’s engagement ring to my father. Let’s pause here and include my father passed away in an accident when I was 18 and through various terrible twists and turns, everything, even photos, was taken away. I had nothing of my father’s. Only things my mother had- namely, this ring.
You can see already where this goes, though naively, I didn’t. This family heirloom, this ring I hadn’t thought much about but now felt devastated loosing, was like a siren. Lovely and prized but as you got closer, it ripped you apart. And it did. It destroyed the ship.
In the height of this, my own wedding ring cracked and became unwearable. It couldn’t be fixed. The blue topaz was too soft to sustain this woman who flings her hands to and fro. The irony stung bitterly. I had lost an heirloom ring and my own wedding ring. I felt sick looking at my naked hand because it constantly reminded me of the fighting going on around the other ring.
I suddenly didn’t want to feel in debt to someone else in order to have a ring. I wanted to put my own stake in the ground. I wanted to give myself a ring. A ring of independence. I had my family of choice, people I loved, my wife I adored surrounding me but I am an independent, stubborn, fab lady with and without those people.
So that’s how I found myself in LA trying on rings with Heidi Gibson. I put on the ‘original Gatsby’ ring and it felt completely right. I chose it. My wife respected me enough to let me go on the journey but be an avid supporter. She knew it was the right ring too. And even though I call this my independence ring, she re-prosed with it, strumming her guitar by the lake.
So this independence ring is my ring. It’s a new family heirloom. My own family heirloom that I’m creating everyday with the choices I make. My wife and I ARE a family. And it sparkles just the way I want it.