Monday, February 21, 2011
The year Lucas proposed to me, we were barely adults. We had just graduated from college, and just recovered from a break-up during our senior year at Pepperdine together. It was a crazy time.
On the day Lucas proposed, we walked to the bridge at the bottom of a Malibu hillside overlooking the beach. As we walked, I got cold and asked if he would give me his jacket. With a quivering voice, he refused. It was uncharacteristic of him, and I looked up to see him walking ahead of me on the path. I noticed that he was clenching something in his pocket. I knew then that he was going to propose.
When he got down on bended knee, he held the ring up to me. I can still feel the rush of blood to my head. I wish I could remember exactly what he said, or the feeling of him putting the ring on my finger but, the truth is, I went numb.
Later, as we headed back to the car to leave, Lucas asked quietly, "the ring? You haven't said anything. Do you like it?" My first thoughts had not been on the ring. It was only then that I noticed what would come to adorn my finger (almost) everyday for the next 6 years of my life. It was beautiful- and I loved it. My ring.
That year, the transitions of life after college and the ups and downs of planning our wedding made life an exciting and challenging adventure. It still stands out in my mind as one of the most difficult times for me. Every time I was discouraged, or frustrated, or worried about the future - I looked at that ring and at the promise it represented. I felt sure that we were in this together.
A few weeks ago when we traveled to Austin, I left my ring on the nightstand at my in-laws' home. My pregnant fingers had been swelling in the night - and in a record act of absent mindedness I left them there when we packed up and headed for home. In a strange turn of events, my in-laws' home was burglarized today.
Just as when Lucas asked me to marry him, my first thoughts were not on the ring when I learned of the burglary. (Thank God, everyone is ok.) But, as it turns out, the ring was among a handful of items stolen. I went numb. I am still numb.
7 years after our engagement, life lately seems like a challenging adventure again. We are traversing the new territory of life on one income, we are attempting to relocate, we are the parents of a soon to be kindergartner, a toddler, and a soon to be newborn. This, too, is a time of transition.
Without my ring, I feel naked and lost. It was something I wore with pride. It reminded me of a nervous boy blazing the trail before me - sheepishly bending down on one knee on an abandoned bridge. It was a promise he made to me, and a promise I made back to him when I wore it. It was a reminder of how far we'd come and how far we have left to go.
But it was never about the ring.
That boy is still right in front of me. 7 years later I can go to sleep and wake up next to him everyday (with or without that ring on my finger.) What he gave me that day cannot be lost or stolen. And, during this season of transition maybe that's what I most need to remember. We are, after all, in this together.