Russ and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary last week. We met the week I turned 17; we were seniors in high school. God has been so good to me and I am profoundly thankful for my husband and our marriage.
Strangely, just in time for our anniversary, Russ’ ring had to be cut off — a first after 26 years of continuous wear. While pruning the roses in our backyard ( just one of the bizillion tasks on our list of wedding preparations), a rose thorn poked through his glove and into the knuckle of his ring finger. Before he knew it, his knuckle was swollen and we couldn’t get the ring off. Like most things, I figured it would resolve itself, so off we went to Seattle the next day for therapy appointments and Sweet Pea’s White Coat ceremony for medical school.
Sweet Pea took one look at her dad’s finger and told us we needed to go to the emergency room after the ceremony. By that time his finger was very swollen and hurting — a lot. We took her advice and went to UW Hospital where the triage nurse took one look and said, “I’ll get the ring cutter.” It took a bit of effort, but the ring came off and within 24 hours his finger was significantly better.
Mingled with relief was sadness at seeing his hand without the ring that I placed on it 26 years ago. Call me sentimental, but that ring holds deep meaning. When I spoke the words, “Wear this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity,” I meant them with all my heart. While these 26 years have brought challenges, and we have had our share of deep valleys, we have been faithful and we have never wavered in our commitment to live our entire lives as husband and wife.
The ring can’t be repaired until the swelling is completely gone, so it will be several weeks. We were talking about this as we drove home from Seattle and Russ said, “I think I need a new ring to wear to Kenya.” I cannot tell you how much it means to me that my husband wants a wedding band on his finger. It is a statement and sign to the world that he is married, and that is what he wants to be.
Thanks be to God.