I took this photo because I want to share a story about my sweet Mother's wedding ring.
This simple gold band has been on her finger for my whole life. I remember looking at it as a child, and there were fancy patterns engraved on it, all the way around. It's all worn smooth now, just shiny gold.
When Mom and Dad were first married, they had gone, with some friends, to Kiwanis Beach, on a sunny Summer day, and had a nice day of swimming. Back at home, around suppertime, she had noticed her ring was gone. I'm sure her stomach dropped, and she must have been heartbroken.
She and Dad went back to Kiwanis, but by now they had closed, and shut the gate. Determined, they hopped the fence, and walked to the beach, trying to visualize exactly where they had been swimming, earlier in the day. Neither of them held much hope of finding it.
Mom went in near the float, using the dwindling daylight to scan as much area as possible. Dad went in down the beach a bit, wading in 3 or 4 feet of water.
In hardly any time at all, Dad spied a glint of hope, and pulled her ring up from the silty bottom. He was always pretty lucky, when he needed to be.
Other than the one time, and a couple of resizings, it hasn't left her finger, since.
January 31st, 2020, marked 62 years, since Dad put that ring on her finger. Why the 31st? Because she had put her foot down, and made him pick a date in January.
Ok, if you're still reading, this turns into another story. Mom is slowly warming up to the Facebook, and I asked her if I could tell the ring story, and take a picture. She bucked at the picture, not wanting to show her "ugly old hand."
I smiled big, and replied, like any son would, "Ugly? Mom, you have beautiful hands. I see nothing but love in those hands." I left it at that, and we chatted a bit, but the more I think about it, I wish I had told her what those hands really mean, to me.
They look like working hands, she's been doing endless chores for a long time now.
She's cooked about 60,000 meals with those hands. She's never had a dishwasher, her hands washed all of the dishes for all of those meals.
She's never had a dryer, so I figure around a quarter million clothespins, on and off.
Most of those clothes got ironed, those hands again.
She raised three boys, and every single thing that we needed, came from those two hands. They were always there, to guide us, help us, teach us, and, yes, even discipline us. Those hands would brush the gravel out of our skinned knees, and get us back up on the bike.
Those hands sowed the seeds, and hoed the weeds, that went with endless summer vegetable gardens.
Those hands have wiped away an awful lot of tears, more than I care to think about. I'm sure they still do, on occasion.
I've seen those hands wringing, while Mom worried over one of us.
I saw them comfort my father, as he slowly faded away, bringing everything that he needed, and a loving touch. I could see his pain ease when she touched him. He was content.
It was hard for her, physically and emotionally, though she never wavered, or let it show.
She had cared for his every need at the end, just as she had for us kids at our beginning.
The circle of life all came through those wonderful hands, and I think they are about the prettiest I've ever seen.