Saturday, October 13, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #308
Nancy White Kelly

Every day I realize more and more that I am past my prime. While arthritis screams rather loudly to my joints, it is my mind that I mourn the most. We older folks know more than young people. We just can’t remember it.

Removing my rings is a daily ritual. I don’t like to wear them when attending to mundane household tasks like washing dishes. Chemicals and soapy residue aren’t good for jewelry.

Early last Tuesday morning, while a rooster crowed in the dawning light, I discovered that my wedding rings were missing. Where could they be?

Time was fleeting and I needed to leave for work. I checked in all the jewelry boxes given me by relatives and friends through the years. No rings. I looked in the bathroom soap dishes. Still no rings.

With the pathetic, non-agility of an aging lady, I slowly lowered my body to the floor. My fingers combed through the bedroom carpet. My eyes caught the clutter of papers and books scattered under the bed. The clutter would have to wait.

I grabbed hold of the bedspread. My elementary students would have considered it a humorous version of “ tug-of-war.” With all the strength and courage I could muster, I finally pulled myself to a standing position. My sophisticated high school students would have described the scene in more scientific lingo: applied physics. Whatever. I was vertical.

Where could those rings be? I have misplaced them before, but never for so long and never when in such a hurry to leave. I am a known advocate of punctuality. It would be amusing to the staff, but embarrassing to me, to be late to our morning faculty meeting.

I asked Buddy if he had seen the rings.

“Nope,” he replied casually. He never even looked up from his newspaper while taking an unhurried sip of coffee. Apparently the headlines were more compelling than my need for wedding rings at 6:00 in the morning.

I did a final walk-around of the entire house, looking high and looking low for the missing rings. I resigned myself to being ringless that day, but not late.
I made a hasty stop in the bathroom to spray my hair for an anticipated long day. It was then that I saw the shiny reflection of a diamond in the medicine cabinet mirror.

Yep. My wedding rings were right where you might expect them…on my left ring finger.