Well, here it is, the actual day and time, the goalpost, We have officially been married (to each other!) for 45 years! WhooHoo! There were times I was sure we wouldn't last another 45 MINUTES much less 45 years. I'm not exactly sure why this particular anniversary feels so significant. Usually it's 25 or 50 or even (oh my stars) 75 year anniversaries that are felt to be special. Nevertheless, 45 years for us seems incredibly long. How can two people manage to live together for 45 years? What keeps a marriage going?
Well, the key is finding the right person. No big surprise there! Finding that person is not usually all that easy. There is no flashing arrow that points out your soul mate! No one hands you his name and address when you hit puberty. You just have to muddle along and keep your eyes open and be ready to say,
"Aha! There he is! Finally!" and grab on tight.
The sad truth is, that sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong, but you usually won't figure it out for a long time.
Somehow I managed to be one of the lucky ones because I found Mikey and I still have him! Let me tell you just how lucky I am.
When Mikey and I chose our wedding rings, we didn't have a lot of money, so we didn't get anything too fancy. They were matching bands with a combination of polished and brushed white gold. Simple and fairly plain. We wore those rings for five years.
For our fifth anniversary, we decided to get new rings to mark the occasion because 1) Mikey couldn't get his ring on anymore, 2) I had realized that I liked yellow gold much more than white gold, and 3) we could now afford something more to our current tastes.
We found an unusual set of matching rings that looked a bit like a ring of small gold nuggets. The were beautiful, unique, and we loved them.
Over the years Mikey had become very adept at finding jewelry that I loved and occasionally found lovely things for my birthday and Christmas, including a cocktail ring with a cluster of diamonds that I just loved. I wore it on my right hand.
Because of the design of these two rings there were lots of little crevices, and bumps, and soap would get embedded in the spaces when I washed my hands. Obviously that did nothing to enhance the beauty of the rings! So I always took them off and set them near the sink when I washed my hands.
As sometimes happens, I became lulled into that habit of removing the rings without thinking about it too much. Of course, the day came when I took off the rings in the rest room at work, set them on the shelf directly above the sink while I washed and dried my hands, then turned and left the rest room. I went back to my office just down the hall an hadn't been there 5 minutes when I realized I didn't have my rings! I went racing down the hallway to the rest room to retrieve them.
Did I mention that I worked in a hospital? Or that the rest room was on a major public hallway right next to the Outpatient Clinic on one side and the Emergency Room on the other? People were in and out of that restroom ALL THE TIME!
Of course, the rings were gone! I checked with Security, Lost and Found, the reception areas near by, hoping against hope that they had been turned in by an honest person. Hah! Silly me!! Nothing, nada, zip, zilch! I was heartbroken and so angry at myself! What a stupid thing to do! And how was I ever going to tell Mikey I lost my wedding ring!???
I was so upset, our wedding rings were unique, we would never find anything we liked nearly as well. Mikey was great about it and didn't get angry -- much. (I think he knew I was angry and upset enough for both of us!)
Okay, so there we were, married for around 7 or 8 years, neither one of us wore a wedding ring and this was the status:
In his dresser Mikey had: the original white gold ring that didn't fit and the replacement yellow gold ring that had no mate.
In my jewelry box I had: the original white gold ring that was a bit small for me.
Fast forward several ringless years. I don't remember exactly which anniversary it was but, in addition to my yellow roses, there was a small instantly recognizable ring box! As I opened it I expected earrings or a pin. What it was was my missing wedding ring!! I was confused. Through my tears, I asked how had he found it? How ever in the world had he gotten it back??
What he said was, "It's not the missing ring." I was astonished, "You found one just like it somehow??? Amazing!
"No" he said with an odd look on his face. "It's not a new ring, exactly." Okay, I had run out of options!! If it's not the missing ring and it's not a new ring, what is it???
Mikey said, "Well, I found a jeweler who makes custom jewelry, so I took both of our original wedding rings, plus the bumpy second gold ring I still had, to this jeweler. He made a casting of the design of the bumpy ring, MELTED DOWN ALL THREE RINGS, then added a bit more gold. Then he made each of us a new version of the bumpy ring that had been stolen." He then pulled his re-made matching ring out of his pocket and put it on his left hand. "So we now have matching wedding rings again, made from our previous wedding rings! Happy Anniversary!"
"Something Old and Something New"!!! I think I cried for days!!
And that, my friends, is a man you KEEP!