#wedding-ring

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You ever just shop for engagement rings or wedding dresses online even tho you’re like perpetually single?

No? Just me? Ok 👌 ✅

Also, how do you explain to your mother why you have a giant floofy princess ballgown style wedding dress in your closet?Asking for a friend 🥰

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That moment when you realize at a place you volunteer, that you left your ring in the bathroom, go to get it, and not only is it gone, whomever did it is likely the person that's clogged the toilet.... 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

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Because I don’t think I ever shared this on here, May I present my wedding ring. My husband commissioned the artist Shivha over Deviantart. Their account is gone now, or I would have linked it. And I’m not sure if they are on another media platform. But ive always been a huge fan of their work, and it was an honor to get my wedding ring made by them. The ring is a Xenomorph queen from the movie Aliens. One of my favorite movies of all time. My best friend’s cousin drew up the design for it, and then Zack gave that to Shivha as a springboard. I am allergic to metals which is why my husband sought alternative materials for my ring.

Here is a more recent photo of it. My lighting and camera are sadly not good, so the picture quality isn’t the best. Shivha also put an amethyst in the forehead of the Alien Queen before sending it to us. (Purple is my favorite color). A feature that was missing in his original photos of the piece. The ring is fragile so I keep it on a necklace, and only wear it on special occasions. It’s my most precious treasure.

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I called him “Gramps” and didn’t know until I was older that he wasn’t really related to us. He was my dad’s first boss, and he kinda adopted our whole family. 
When I had questions too embarrassing to ask my folks, I’d go to him. He never treated me like I was just a kid. He’d ask my opinions on stuff, and he’d actually listen when I talked. 
Some folks thought he was standoffish because he was the quiet sort, but nothing could be further from the truth. Like he used to tell me, God gave us two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk. 
I watched the CBS news in those days. Walter Cronkite was a lot like Gramps, and had the same kind of mustache. When he read the casualties from the Vietnam war, you could always see his eyes fill with unfallen tears. 
One day, he was covering a protest against the war, and an image of the Stars and Stripes in flames flashed by. It haunted me. Every day in school I pledged allegiance to that flag. I’d seen it drape too many coffins of too many dead. 
I asked Gramps about it, how anyone could do that. He sat me down in his backyard. I can still taste the lemonade he served that afternoon, still hear the mosquitos buzzing. 
“Let me tell you a story.” 
I watched his face as he reached for the right words. 
“A couple of years after I married Clara, may she rest in peace, we made a big garden. It was spring, and she and I had worked all day in the soil, spading, raking, and planting rows and rows of vegetables.” 
What this had to do with a burning flag, I didn’t know, but I had confidence in him. 
He looked away from me, looked back into the past. “We were washing up, and I heard her shriek in the kitchen. I ran to see what was wrong. She was looking at her hand, and said, ‘It’s gone.’ She meant her wedding ring.” 
“I told her we’d find it, or I’d replace it. She cried all night. She was a little superstitious, I think. Thought if the ring was gone, it was a bad sign for our marriage. The next day, we woke up, dug up every row we’d planted the day before, and didn’t find it.” 
“All that summer she looked, in the garden, hoping, praying that she’d see a glint of gold.” 
He looked back at me, and asked, “Were Clara and I still married while the ring was lost?” 
I nodded. “Of course.” 
“Of course we were. The ring was a symbol of our marriage. But we lived together, we ate together, we slept together. We tilled the garden together. We dreamed.” 
“Why do you think I told you this story?” 
“Because symbols aren’t really the things they represent?” 
“Exactly. And it’s that way with flags. When I put my hand on my heart when the flag passes by, I am honoring the principles, the ideas, the liberty that the flag represents. I remember when I was in Korea, when I saw the flag, when I listened to Taps as it was lowered, the buddies I lost over there. But it wasn’t the flag that was sacred, it was all it stood for, all it still stands for.” 
“Did you ever find the ring?” 
“Funny thing. That fall, when we were digging the carrots, there was one wearing the ring. Clara never wore her ring into the garden again. She put it some place safe when she was digging in the dirt. Sometimes I’d look at her hand in the garden and I’d ask her if we were still married. She’d smile at me and say ‘Of course, you old coot,’ and we’d laugh and laugh.” 
I saw another flag burned on television the other day. And I remembered Gramps’ lesson, that symbols are never stronger, never more important than whatever they stand for. Like Gramps, I know the republic, the constitution, the people, are strong and grow stronger with each generation’s questions of and challenges to previous generations. 
And I will always watch for that glint of gold. 
© 2020 Leland Dirks