Sunday, December 20, 2009

When stuff is just stuff, but isn't

I lost my wedding ring. I remember having it at work, and at one point taking it off to put on hand cream. Then, when i went to find it yesturday, I couldn't find it. Did I leave it at work? Will someone have found it and turned it in, or just have taken it.
My husband was so good about it when I told him about it. He was clearly upset, but saw that I was CLEARLY upset (i. e. crying and such), and did not make a big deal about it. "It is just 'stuff'", he said, "We can replace it". And, he was right. But, it was sentimental to us both. He told me later that he remembers the exact moment when he put the engagement ring on my finger on Hornby Island after asking me to marry him. He remembers me walking down the aisle on our wedding day. He remembers putting the wedding band on my hand to signify that we were joined as one. I have these memories too. Funny that "stuff" can end up meaning so much just because of what it signifies.
I tore our house apart thinking that there was NO WAY I could have left it at work! I had to have brought it home! Didn't I have it last night? Then why couldn't I find it now? I even looked in weird places for it, but to no avail.
I had finally given up, and was doing laundry. I was doing a load of whites and heard something rattling around in the bottom of the washer. What could possibly be in there? I wasn't doing jeans or something so there shouldn't be change (which I have also washed). And there it was! Lying at the bottom of the washer gleamingly clean, like the day I got it!!
I was so relieved! Not that we don't have insurance, we do. Not that we couldn't afford to buy another one, we can. Not that we wouldn't replace it, we would. But for what it MEANS. For the memories behind it. For the love we still share today and what the two rings on my finger (saudered together, so I lost both) signify to everyone who sees it - we are one.
I guess now I get the whole Christmas present thing. Sure, it stems from the tradition of baby Jesus getting gifts from the Wisemen (so they say). And, sure it is just "stuff". But, we buy the things we do for the people we do because of what they mean to us. If we can signify this in some way by getting them some little symbol (instead of gold frankinsense, and mur it is gold, an Xbox, and clothes), we think they will know just how much they mean to us. Maybe we should just tell them how much they mean to us? But memory is fleeting and sometimes the "stuff" is a reminder.

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