Missing a part of me

Here is part of what I wrote for my son’s wedding in October:

It is usually said at weddings

that the ring is a circular symbol

of the unbroken, never-ending nature of love.

That is certainly true,

but I would like to take a different tack today.

When you selected these rings for each other—

and I imagine that this is true

for all those here today who are married—

you took care to select something

that would be pleasing to its wearer—

because you will be wearing these rings for a very long time,

and no one wants their spouse to look down

and be reminded of how inappropriate their wedding ring is.

More than that—

it is a physical reminder of your vows today.

At first you will find its presence an odd thing

as you constantly play with it,

testing its right to be there

and marveling at what fortune or fate

brought you to this most excellent pass.

Eventually, its presence will no longer surprise you,

but your awareness of it on your finger

never goes away,

and I hope that every time

you rather absentmindedly fiddle with it,

you will feel—even if subconsciously—

the blessing of being married to the one you love.

Finally, your ring is an outward show

of your commitment to each other.

In a few moments, its presence on your finger

will tell everyone you meet

that you have come to be with the person

you are meant to be with,

and that you have vowed to be

with him or her for the rest of your life.

Thus others know of your blessing.

I post this today because two nights ago, as I sat by the fire with my lovely first wife, I looked down at my hand and realized that my wedding ring was gone.  Completely not there. At some point that day, it had slipped from my hand and vanished into the universe.

How? is the question that keeps hammering in my head.  How did I not feel it come off?  How did I not hear it hit whatever it bounced off of before vanishing?  I never take it off (except for the occasional MRI or stage role), so it had to work its way off.

I do remember washing my hands that afternoon as I prepared soup for supper and noticing then that it was loose.  Over the years, as I’ve gained weight, I’ve had it expanded a couple of times—it was originally a very small ring for a man.  It might even have been a woman’s ring; I forget.  But now as I age and my weight fluctuates, it has gotten looser.

It has stuck in my head that it might have vanished when I pulled off gloves, either my work gloves when I trundled firewood up to the front porch or the rubber gloves after I washed dishes.  But it’s not in the kitchen or in the yard.

I didn’t leave the house after I started cooking, so even though I called Home Depot and Kroger to ask them to be on the lookout, I know it’s in neither of those places.

Needless to say, we have scoured the entire house and yard multiple times.  We’ve gone through the trash.  I’ve disassembled the bathroom sink.  (The kitchen sink has a garbage disposal—I would have known if it had gone down that drain.)  We’ve swept under furniture, pulled sheets off the bed, and emptied coats, pants, and gloves every ten minutes.

It’s gone.

my wedding ring

It was square, gold, engraved, and it is still a part of me.  Everything I said in my wedding homily was based on my ring, and everything I said is true.  I am deeply wounded by its loss; it cannot be gone.

It is gone.

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