When I divorced Dick, 17 years ago this month, I shared my plans to give my wedding ring to our daughter Elle when she turned 18. Dick responded in a sarcastic, bitter, angry tone "Sounds like a great idea! Elle here's a symbol of your parents FAILED marriage!!" I responded "No, here's a symbol that your Dad and I loved each other once!"
Dick and I never discussed the ring again. Many years ago I shared with Elle my intentions to give her the ring. I don't remember the exact conversation other than we both knew that the ring belonged to her and that Grandma(my Mom) was keeping it in a safe until she turned 18.
Dick had very few nice things to say about me following our divorce and never thought twice about sharing those negative thoughts with Elle. Her first recollection of Dick's negative rants about me date back to when she was just four years old. Elle never recalls a time he didn't have something negative to say about me. Add to that the events that led to the end of Elle and Dick's relationship, I wasn't quite sure how she would handle receiving the ring.
Several months ago, I asked Elle if she still wanted the ring. Without hesitation she said YES! Raylan and I both shared with Elle our gift to pay for a new ring setting if she so desired. Elle responded with tremendous excitement - immediately looking at hundreds of ring styles. The ring officially became hers a few weeks ago and she couldn't wait to make it her own!
Last week Elle and I took the ring to a jeweler. She quickly fell in love with a setting and before we knew it the old and the new ring were sealed together in an envelope and gone. Afterward the two of us went to lunch, talking about the significance of the ring, the divorce and her life ahead.
The entire process surrounding the ring was not the doom and gloom my Ex Husband had predicted, but rather one of extreme happiness and joy for not only Elle, but for me and even Raylan as well.
The day I decided to divorce Dick, my wedding ring felt like it no longer belonged to me. I took it off and never missed wearing it. I've never had one negative feeling attached to the ring. My union with Dick brought Elle into this world and no matter how wrong we were for each other she was the one thing we did do right! And now the ring that symbolized our union finally found it's rightful home with our daughter.
Just like life has moved forward, so has the ring. The ring box now sits empty with only the cork from the wine bottle we drank to toast our first wedding anniversary. The original ring no longer exists - the stone has been removed - placed in a completely different ring style - yet the symbolism of the original ring remains.
Although, Elle's life didn't turn out to be the promised, unwritten fairytale I had hoped for 18 years ago - I know every time Elle looks down at her new ring she'll be reminded that Dick and I loved each other once. It's not a fairytale, it's real life - still worthy of celebrating.