Ten years ago this very morning I was teaching English to a bunch of raucous teenagers while fighting off what would become the first case of strep throat I'd had in over 15 years, when I was summoned to the office. There, in the principals office I was given a ring. By the man who would become my husband who would ten years later give me the plague that I am coming down with now.
It wasn't until later that evening that he "officially" put a ring on it. (we didn't want to disrupt the entire school day by having me show up for my afternoon classes sporting a rock that hadn't been there in the morning-bling is quite distracting to teen girls) I had gone home on a snowy afternoon to take a long hot bath, lots of medicine and a nap. I may have been blinded by a 104 degree fever, but I couldn't stop smiling while looking at that ring.
Ten years later, she fits a little tighter, has gotten some partners in crime by way of a wedding and an anniversary band, has a few scratches and dings, but shines just as brightly. I still look at her at least once each day and smile. I rarely take her off, so she's been caked in perogi dough, covered in gardening dirt, and washed with saltwater. She stands up and away from my finger proudly-so she has scratched a few faces, arms, and once a leg in her lifetime. For a few months in my life she hung around my neck on a chain while a small man grew. Someday she will be passed along as a family heirloom.
For now though, she will continue her reign on my aging left hand. A reminder of a snowy December day. Because he asked. I said yes.