September 21, 2011

A Promise and a Diamond

"Wrinkles and bones, white hair and diamonds: I can't wait."
— Truman Capote 

I ran the straightening iron down the length of my hair, trying to hurry so we could be out the door in time for the birthday dinner with my family. I was leaning forward to fasten my necklace when I looked into the mirror and saw Sky in the hall. He was kneeling down, and had Millie propped on his knee.

Neither of us remember the one or two sentences he rushed through. But his proposal went something like, "There's one more thing you should wear tonight. Will you continue to be my wife?" He slid the ring onto my finger. Millie seemed oblivious to the whole thing. He held my hand in the car, and it rubbed against his palm.

I stared at that ring the rest of the night. I couldn't believe how much it glittered, even in the dim streetlight on the way home. It's still in the newness phase, so I have been taking it off to do dishes and take a shower. I keep waking up surprised to find it on my finger. Usually, I like simple, almost invisible jewelry- the smaller, the better- but this vintage-y romantic style takes my breath away. I love that it's a ring worthy of passing down to Millie or her children someday.

Does a big part of my heart feel foolish wearing a diamond ring when we are struggling with money so much? Absolutely. It's hard not to feel guilty. I contemplated selling it at one point, but Sky refused, and hid it away so I wouldn't. It's something he'd insisted on since this past winter, and when our tax refund came, we used part of it for rings. We got very inexpensive bands again, stuck to a budget, bought it on sale, and didn't get it from one of the big, expensive jewelry stores. If I sound like I'm trying to justify it to the world and to myself, it's because I am.

I also can't pretend that we are at 100% just because a ring adorns my finger. But we are trying. A lasting marriage is rarer than perfect diamonds. And I realize now that the reason diamonds and promises tend to come early in relationships is because the promises need to be in place before it gets rough- because, in some way or another, it inevitably will. The ring is supposed to be there as a reminder of those promises.

And now we both have them- new reminders of renewed promises. It's a pretty beautiful thing.







36 kind comments from you:

Alana said...

OH MY GOODNESS it's absolutely gorgeous! I was so not expecting that! What a perfect birthday! It really is breathtaking.

Taylor said...

Love it! Never sell it, just sell a kidney next time ; ). I'd def rather part with an organ than my ring lol!

ines said...

what a wonderful surprise! such a gorgeous ring!

beka said...

okay.
for his rushed sentences, i started tearing up.
ohhhh my.
<3
i'm really into simple rings, too, but goodness your ring has good taste! i would be open to vintagey, not-too-blingy style like yours. hehe:)

even though i don't know specifics of the trials and pain you have been through, trying and choosing to stick it out and be devoted is amazing and strengthening for pretty-much-single people like me to hear.

Elizabeth @ The Young Retiree said...

SUPER GORGEOUS! I still take mine off to shower and do dishes... always!

Amy Young said...

The ring is absolutely beautiful!! I love the vintage style.. always been my favorite. What I love the most about this post in the story behind the ring... and the truth let out. So many people pretend to never hit a rough patch, but it is so true... inevidibly you will hit one. Marriage is not easy, it takes work, but its so worth it!

Deanna said...

beautiful ring!!!! don't feel guilty about the money spent on it. things will even out money wise for you guys and you will always be glad that you kept the ring to remind you of what is truly important in life.

Holly said...

Damn Erika! Thats fabulous!!!!!

p.s. That ring also is a symbol of love. and you don't have to justify love. Ever. <3

Jessica said...

Wow, what an absolutely gorgeous ring! You never have to justify your love and your ring is a symbol of that. I'm not going to lie, I teared up reading your post.

Yes, there are hard times in marriages, but it makes you stronger and it makes the relationship all the more sweeter when it's right.

Keep on keeping on!!

annoyed army wife said...

Wow, that's fabulous! Absolutely gorgeous! Is it distracting to type? :)

Chantal said...

That's a beautiful ring!

Skinnie Piggie said...

Yay! So pretty, amazing birthday gift/promise.

Mrs.B said...

Beautiful! I'm so happy for the two of you.

Elizabeth said...

That is gorgeous!! What a sweet thing for him to do. I think it looks beautiful on your finger!

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness!! What a gorgeous ring!!! I am totally in awe. I understand the feeling of guilt at the same time because of the money. My husband bought me a new ring last fall we'd be wanting to upgrade forever and just never got around to it. I LOVE the Truman Capote quote up there too!

Nicole Marie said...

ERIKA! OH MY GOD! This is gorgeous!!! I absolutely love my ring, but I am now super jealous of yours! Lol.

Don't feel guilty at all. You have wanted this for some time now. And you deserve it. Plus, your idea of passing it down is priceless. I actually wear my husbands great grandmothers ring that has been past down in his family. It's an honor.

I know things will get better. And not because of the ring, but because you are both trying. Like I've said before to you, so many people give up. I find it admirable that you two are committed and are working at your relationship. Yes, you definitely deserve this ring :)

xoxo

Erinn said...

It's a beautiful ring that symbolizes something beautiful. Doesn't get much better than that :)

Fran said...

It is such a beautiful ring! love it :)

Clearbluewater3 said...

it is gorgeous! And you never have to justify love to us. You didn't demand him buy you a new ring because yours wasn't good enough or was too small or not pretty enough. This is a ring you decided as a family you needed in order to continue to be a family and to grow as a family. I am so so so happy for you! you deserve all the happiness in the world!

The New "Normal" said...

Oh wow, that's gorgeous! What a wonderful birthday gift, and I know that it means so much more than just a piece of jewlery. You don't have to find a reason to justify it. The ring is a symbol of your love, your family, and the commitment you both have to all of it, no matter what. So wonderful and I'm so happy for you!

Ashley said...

so beautiful!!!

Lydia said...

Your ring is gorgeous, what a PERFECT birthday!

Erin said...

SOOOOOOOO Beautiful!! You shouldn't feel guilty. Money gets tight, times get tough, but you are a beautiful wife. This ring is a wonderful reminder that you are both trying, and you deserve that. :)

I love the quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the new one) when the grandpa says there will always be more money, they print more of it every day. :) When times get tough and my husband and I are worried about money, I think of that quote and smile.

Don't feel guilty. Feel loved and appreciated and VERY SPECIAL!

Happy Birthday!!!

Kayti said...

it's beautiful :) the whole thing. the story & the ring. i love it.

i don't know the whole story, but i think the commitment you're making to your marriage is really awesome. this will probably make me sound a hundred years old, but it makes my heart so happy to see young people actually fighting for their marriage. i hate how frequently people run away as soon as it gets hard. kudos to you and your husband. i'm praying that God will bless you and your marriage.

also, you totally reminded me of a song that i've recently fallen in love with. here's a youtube link for it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gs3fg_WsEg&ob=av2e

i hope you like it as much as i do! :)

Kaylee said...

Ok, I may have teared up a little bit. The ring is beautiful. Don't justify it. It's a symbol and it's good. And the fact that you wrote about how it doesn't mean things are perfect, but rather, that you are trying and that is what makes a lasting marriage, is simply spot-on. I am happy for you and am proud that you two are working to make this work. I know it can be hard - relationships always, always are - but it is so worth it. I'll continue praying for you guys.

Alice said...

Aww, it's so pretty! And what an appropriate time to propose!

What lovely news. :)

keri said...

very pretty - the post and the ring :)

Your writing is very beautiful - you have a gift.

vintch said...

heavens to betsy, that thing is stunning. congrats, sweet sweet friend. it's always so nice to read your words with my coffee in the morning:)

A Creed and A Psalm said...

Perfect. That ring symbolizes everything you both have worked toward - all the time and love and struggle and commitment to what you both know is within each other. It's that core of absolute love that will weather the storm - and you both obviously have it. I think it's a beautiful symbol and I love that you have reached the point of what that symbol means within the context of everything. I am so, so, so happy for you :) Plus, a little sparkle never hurt anything ;) love ya!!!

Dolli-Mama said...

Beautiful! The ring is so beautiful, it looks perfect on your hand. I'm so glad your birthday was amazing!

Brittany Sommer said...

Gorgeous! This post is so sweet, it made me cry!

Dani said...

This is so beautiful!! When you first posted, I thought maybe Millie was walking. Congrats to you and Sky, and enjoy your beautiful new ring. Sounds like a perfect birthday for you two.

JennyTheBeatBoxer said...

That ring is beautiful!! And this post made me cry! I'm so glad for you! I will keep you 2 in my prayers!

____j said...

Your ring looks very similar to mine! I love the antique style. It's beautiful!

Ashley D. said...

What a gorgeous ring! I love when you said, "And I realize now that the reason diamonds and promises tend to come early in relationships is because the promises need to be in place before it gets rough- because, in some way or another, it inevitably will. The ring is supposed to be there as a reminder of those promises." I have looked at my ring 100 times over the past year, and smiled because no matter how rough things have gotten, it was always there reminding me of the beautiful promises we made when we were so very young. It's those promises that have carried us through, and I know they have done the same for you :)

charla beth said...

i came back to read this post again and just realized i never commented on it...what a horrible bloggy friend am i!

but now that i'm here...
wow. what an incredibly GORGEOUS ring that is and such a romantic story to pass down with it.

please don't feel guilty about wearing it because that ring is much more--much, much more--than a simple piece of jewelry. as you said, it is the reminder of the foundation you and sky laid down and a symbol that that foundation will continue to hold in the midst of all the tough stuff that life throws your way. i have to say that i always admire your honesty in this blog. that you share the truth about how life isn't easy and relationships aren't easy and marriage isn't easy, but that there are always things to work toward, hope for, dream of. and that is what makes all the pressing on worth it.

love you, erika. and once again, i'm so happy for you.

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