Whenever my Dad would go in for a surgery I always asked to hold his wedding ring as he was not allowed to have it on. From a pretty early age just holding it, feeling the smooth worth metal against my hand provided a sense of comfort. He had many surgeries later in life everything from open heart surgery at 76 to hernia repairs … mom and I counted 11 that we could remember. Each time withouth fail, no matter how old I was, the ring would be with me as we waited for news and could go back to see him where I would slip the ring back on while he was still in a groggy drug induced haze never knowing it was gone from his hand. I love hearing stories from my mom about my Dad, about their early life together and about his wedding ring, how it used to be a very thick band when they picked it out and over the years it had worn down to a very thin delicate symbol of love standing the test of time with no beginning and no end.
Other than the surgeries I can not remember a time he did not wear it, he always had it on. As a kid sitting in church when the priest was having fun delivering a long winded sermon that I thought would NEVER end, I would slip my hand inside of of his and spin the ring, sometimes trying with all my might to pry it off his finger. He would laugh and tell me it didn’t come off, it was part of him.
After my Dad passed away, my mom decided to keep his ring with her and went to a local jeweler and had his ring made into a beautiful heart that she wears on a necklace most of the time. He has been gone over 10 years and I have never asked to wear the ring, but on Saturday I will wear the ring around my neck as I make my way through the 5k course running, walking, sweating and struggling through the steps. A small part of him will be there with me, giving me strength and encouragement as he has my whole life. I think it is very fitting the race starts in front of the Cincinnati Reds stadium, he would very much approve!