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When it was time for an engagement, my then boyfriend went to Jared’s and picked out a diamond ring based on the three C’s – none of which I cared about. A pretty ring was enough. I will never know how much that ring cost but I’m sure it was more than he should have afforded as a college student.

Fast forward years later, he upgraded the diamond to a larger one on the same band as an anniversary surprise. I’m not sure if they still do it, but Jared’s did have a program where they would deduct the cost of your first diamond toward the purchase of your next one. A great idea for the young, broke, and in love.

When I look at my ring, I see much more than a band and a diamond and I know that no matter how many years we are married, he will never be able to give me a better gift. I’ve never worn much jewelry and this is the only piece I’m always sure to have. You see, when I Iook at my ring I see green carpet. Green, cheap carpet with a few messed up spots in the single wide trailer we first lived in down a long, dirt path. I see my panic and frustration when I couldn’t keep the mice out and I see myself sitting on the living room floor bouncing our first baby in a little pink seat when she wouldn’t sleep. I see the perfect striped lines my husband painted on the bedroom walls for a nursery. I see the old wooden bunk beds that were his as a kid. I see myself cramming his smelly, dirty clothes from the chicken farm into the second hand washing machine that was in the kitchen. I see the small, round, wooden kitchen table that was my mama’s.

My ring tells a story every day as I walk around with it. It whispers to me, “Look how far you’ve come. Look at the family you made. Look at what was coming that you couldn’t see in the beginning.” It whispers, “Keep holding on, even when it’s not easy.” This ring is a praise report. It’s a reminder that love is still there in the midst of arguments or misunderstandings or mistakes. It’s a promise…

for better, for worse

for richer, for poorer

in sickness and in health

to love and to cherish

And while to some a ring may just be a round piece of silver with a glittery stone, to me it will always be a love that was so much bigger than its green carpet and humble beginnings.

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