Almost three and a half years ago I was thrown into the world of the grieving parent. At the time, I was in a highly alert state, taking words that were said to me and dissecting them one by one. Sometimes people said things that I found confusing, and maybe even hurtful. I started reading…
My mother’s ring is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. A gift from my husband, years ago when our boys were still young. It was a surprise for many reasons, one being that it came on ordinary day, not a special occasion. The other because I knew he had to pre-order, so it wasn’t his usual last-minute rush.
Every time I look down at this ring, I’m filled with a mixture of emotions. Loved. Grateful. Blessed. Proud.
A band of gold inlaid with diamonds and gemstones, the ring never leaves my hand. The boy’s stones, both red but one a darker, deeper shade, frame the outside. Mine and my husband’s stones hug the center. More than a mother’s ring, one that represents our family. Since three of us share shades of red, he chose to separate each stone with diamonds.
The end result is shimmering and patriotic, catching the eye of many through the years. Most are either surprised it is a mother’s ring or assume I have a slew of kids when they comment. I used to light up when people would ask, thrilled for the opportunity to share about the boys and our family. It’s different – harder now.
Some time after our oldest son passed, one of the diamonds fell out. Though I keep meaning to get it repaired, I also don’t want to be without it on my hand. Today the symbolism of the missing stone hit me.
For so long the ring represented our happy family of four. Connected, woven together in a circle, never to be broken. Until it was.
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The hole on my ring now visibly shows how we feel after the loss. Together but forever an empty spot. Darkness among the light.
No matter how strong or healed, we’ll forever have a void where Austin was. In the milestones and moments we share, all of us pause at some point and wish he was here to experience it with us. That will never change because our love for him will never end. And so, the stone may stay empty. Incomplete. A missing piece. Until we’re whole again.