Monday, August 16, 2010

A True HEA and Gold Wedding Bands

Before my husband and I married, our finances allowed only gold wedding bands—no engagement ring and no diamonds. Together, we shopped in the one jewelry store in town and found the perfect pair. The twin rings caught my eye, because the designer had chosen to create pieces of jewelry somewhat different from all the other choices.
The bands were thicker than normal, and somewhat wider than usual. Thin decorative edges circled the bands, and the surface of the gold displayed delicate cross-hatching. Over the years, daily use has worn the design smooth and shiny.

A few years ago on a long road trip, we wanted to arrive at our next destination before dark. Construction and delays, however, forced us to drive after sundown. To keep us alert on the busy interstate, we stopped at a convenience store to buy snacks.

As we continued our journey, we talked and laughed, and I unwrapped our ice cream bars to enjoy during the last few miles. Fifteen minutes later, after I had disposed of the wrappings in a trash bag, we settled back to watch the highway. Something felt odd about my hand, and I discovered my gold wedding band was missing.

“Stop!” I demanded.

Instantly alarmed, he said, “Here? I can’t. We’re in the middle of nowhere surrounded by eighteen-wheelers. I can’t pull off the highway. What’s wrong?”

His voice had risen over my crying and moaning. Missing the ring struck my heart as surely as though someone died.

“When’s the last time you remember having the ring?” he asked, attempting to remain calm. “Can you please settle down and let’s discuss this? Plus, I don’t want to have a wreck with all this distraction.”

Calming myself because I didn’t wish to die on the Interstate, I thought back. “It must be in the restroom trash. I washed my hands, dried them on paper towels, and threw the towels away. You remember that’s happened before, don’t you? One time when we were at a dance. I went to the restroom, and when I….”

“Okay, okay,” he interrupted. “You lost it before that, too, at the golf store when you tried on golf gloves. We had to retrace out steps thirty miles to find the ring in a glove. Remember?”

“Oh, I’d forgotten about that. How embarrassing.”

I guess he felt the need to console me a little. He said, “It’s understandable, but you really should be more careful. You shouldn’t even wear your ring when we travel.”

“Well, of course, you’re right. I’ll remember next time. But this isn’t helping me find the ring now.”

Slowing the vehicle, he told me, “I’ll exit on the next access road. We’ll have to drive back. That’s all we can do.”

“Wait!” I said.

“What now?”

Without speaking, I dug in the trash bag beside me. The ring safely lay among the ice cream wrappers. I began crying again, this time from happiness.

Many years later, we were driving on a state highway to visit relatives. Thirty miles from our destination, we stopped at a convenience store for a rest stop. When I stepped out of the women’s restroom, he stood by the men’s door.

“Hey,” he said, with a slight grin. “I lost my wedding ring down a drain.”

“What?” I cried in my usual manner of mild hysteria.

“Don’t get upset. The sink had no cover over the drain, and when I soaped and rinsed my hands, I heard a ‘clink, clink,’ and I knew the ring had gone down there.”

“Can you get it?”

“The manager has gone to find some tools. He said he’d remove the trap. That’s where it is. Won’t take a minute.”

To wait, I leaned on the wall. The manager returned, walked by me, and entered the restroom. After a few minutes, he left without his tools. My husband stuck his head out the door and said, “It wasn’t in the trap.”

“Where can it be?”

“He thinks it’s in the wall. Said the water flushed it down and up out of the trap. Well, I don’t think so. That ring’s too heavy.”

“What’s he going to do next?”

He shrugged. “Beats me. But I know that ring is somewhere in the drain.”

The manager returned with more tools and a flashlight.

For the next twenty minutes, I stood by the wall while strange men came and went from the restroom.

One stopped and asked, “Are you the little lady? They’re still working in there.”

Another one told me, “I think they’re going to tear out the wall.”

Still another said, “I think that ring’s long gone down the sewer.”

The manager emerged. I stopped him. “Sir, I know you’re working as hard as you can, but look.” I held up my left hand to show him my wedding ring. “See this ring? It’s decades old. That ring you’re looking for is, too. We need that ring.”

At last, they found the ring. Funny though, my husband retrieved it himself. While the manager left to find more tools and an ax to chop a hole in the wall, my husband peered down the drain with the flashlight. He saw it standing on its side on a small ledge made by a joint. He picked up a long screwdriver, slowly reached down the drain, snagged the ring, and carefully lifted it out. He had it on the screwdriver tip when the manager returned.

Since those episodes, I’ve thought about our rings and the many years we’ve lived together. Every marriage comes custom-built with potential failures, and if we’re lucky, subsequent victories. We lose some battles, but we win others. The goal in a partnership is overcome the losses, and move on, forgetting the upsets and fears.

No marriage enjoys perfection; no couple wants or expects it. But every young man and woman who begins a life together starts with the premise of “happily ever after.” The sad failures of many marriages are like the lost rings.

A couple might lose something valuable in a marriage, and instead of discussing the problem, they over-react. They should first determine where the problem began without bringing up past failures. Working jointly, they may find a solution that satisfies both. In order for the process to work, neither one should ever think they are always right.

True love endures, as if it’s solid gold.
Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas
TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print


  1. Such a sweet story, Celia. My ring's similar, though thinner. And for 15 years it was all alone on my finger, until my husband gave me an anniversary band.
    It's a good reminder that, like good times, rings can be lost, but they always return - with some work. :)

  2. Oh,Cate--how sweet. A woman is lucky to have a thoughtful husband, someone who wants to please you. Thanks for your ring story--Celia

  3. What an absolutely wonderful story, Celia! I guess the survival of your rings is symbolic of your lasting marriage in a chaotic world. I'm so glad you had happy endings all the times the rings have been whisked away. :)

  4. What a beautiful story, Celia. Made me misty-eyed. In today's day and age with marriage coming to mean practically next to nothing it is lovely and encouraging to see how love and friendship can last the test of time and strengthen over the years. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Love this post, Celia. Fortunately, I've never lost my ring nor my husband his. Guess we've been lucky in that department. Your rings are beautiful and have a wonderful patina developed from years of love.

  6. Way to start my day, Celia - in tears! How symbolic our wedding rings are, how much they mean to us. It feels so weird when I take mine off for cooking, cleaning and so on, and only feel 'complete' again when I've finished the job and put my rings back on. My hubbie used to do work where he had to remove his wedding ring for safety, but always felt the same - couldn't wait to put it back on again. That makes me think of how we feel, as a couple and a family - sometimes we have to be apart, but we're only 'whole' again when we're back together. It's 6.30am, hubbie has just gone to work, kids aren't awake, the house is quiet, it's one of my favourite moments of the day, and here I am wiping away the tears! ;-) Your post will make me smile and feel so grateful for what I have today. Love to you and your man. :) Jane x

  7. Celia, you have just described our rings. But of course, we would have rings similar to yours since we parallel in so many ways. Are you sure you don't have another sister??Linda

  8. Hi Celia,
    I loved this post. My Hubby and I have almost matching bands, with his being white gold and mine being yellow gold. Otherwise they are identical. While spending his career in construction my Hubby couldn't wear his ring on his finger. For a time he carried it in his pocket on his key ring, but an episode of losing his keys made him rethink that as a solution. I bought him a nice sterling silver chain and he began wearing it around his neck. That's where it has been for over twenty years now. The chain has been replaced many times, but the same rings are still with us. He has asked many times if I want to buy a new set of rings and my answer is always the same, "NO! Another set of rings will never have the same memories as these."

  9. MAEVE--you phrased it correctly. The rings do symbolize a stability in this crazy world. It's a shame so many couples can't find that peace living with another person--Thanks for your comments--Celia

  10. EVIE--thank you. We are each others' best friend. I do have numerous good friends, a few very close, but no one is as close to me as he is. Celia

  11. LINDA--My fingers are thin and tend to stay cold. So in air conditioning and dry winters months, the ring--his, too--fall right off. We've had both of the re-sized about 15 years ago, so I don't want to do that again. Just have to be careful. Celia

  12. JANE--how sweet you are. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me.It's lovely to hear of couples who truly are connected. I know too many who aren't--they just drift along, living in the same house but not connecting on any emotional level. Very sad. Rings do represent so much--I'm fearful young couples choose the rings for their beauty--not what they represent. I think of you often, and love to hear from you--Celia

  13. LINDA--of course we'd have similar rings! Since we're practically twins we wouldn't expect it any other way! Thank you, dearest friend, for commenting. Celia

  14. REBECCA--what a good idea for your husband's ring! My husband, too, has asked every few years if I want a diamond ring instead of the gold band, but I would not give my gold band up for anything. But on our 25th--long ago--he wanted me to have diamonds so we went to a local jewelers who made custom-made rings. It's different, with three diamonds and two rubies, in a thinner gold band. I wear it with my wedding band like you would an engagement ring. I've had so many compliments. It's a small ring, though, because my hands are small. Something big would look wrong on me.Thanks for sharing your ring story. Celia

  15. What a beautiful story, Celia! I would never lose my wedding ring - I actually had to have it made bigger a few years ago. My husband's is loose on his finger sometimes though but he hasn't lost it yet.

    When I first start reading about your husband losing his ring, I thought he was kidding you. I'm glad you both still have your lovely rings and are together after so many years. That's a wonderful accomplishment!

  16. DIANE--well, he got his comuppance! He's warned me so many times about my rings--when it's cold and dry, I can hold my hand down and the rings will slip right off. I am very careful with them now. I have several costume jewelry rings I wear sometimes when I know my rings won't stay on.
    And he does kid me a lot about silly things--I wouldn't have put it past him. But his humor is such that you don't know if he's joking or not. He still baffles his buddies, and he gets such a big kick out of it. Celia

  17. Sweet post, Celia. When my hand was caught in a door a couple of years ago, it smashed the setting on my engagement ring. We took the ring to a lovally famous jewelry chain, and the snotty repairman told us it couldn't be repaired and we should replace it. Not likely! This is the one my husband gave me when he proposed and no other will do. We took it to a better jeweler who repaired and it looks good as new.

  18. CAROLINE--isn't it odd, how we feel about those rings? I think very young brides really don't know the true meaning of the rings until a few years have come and gone. Thanks for your story--Celia

  19. Celia, thanks for warming my heart. Not only with the story of your gold wedding bands, but the beautiful relationship you and your husband have.

    If I had a wedding ring, I'd probably be losing it too, since my fingers act like yours. It's one reason I rarely wear rings even though I love to wear them on special occasions.

  20. Savanna--so you understand the ring thing. My fingers have no fat on them. In high humidity, they might swell enough to keep the rings on, but in cold dry weather or hot dry weather--they just slide right off. There's no use having them sized anymore, because my body might change and then the rings would be wrong.
    Thanks for the sweet sentiment. You know what? I grew up when I married. I was such a child, and he's become everything to me, even my best friend.Celia

  21. Celia, what a beautiful story!

    What about getting a small thin band you can wear on the outside of it during the winter - a winter ring? ;-)

  22. LORAINE--good idea. I have some costume jewelry I could use for that purpose. They'd go with my gold band. I never thought of that. Celia