By Ann Mann
There is a moment I cannot seem to forget. It is the moment the nurse handed me my husband’s wedding band. Without even thinking about it, I took off my own wedding ring, put his larger band on my finger, and then put my ring back on my finger. I can’t imagine ever taking it off. But the sight of his ring is triggering painful memories.
Over and over, I am reliving the moment the nurse handed me that ring. That is the moment when his death became real. It hit me that he would never wear that ring again. And so, now I wear my sweet husband’s ring, and I live for both of us. I will hold our grandchild with the hand that wears your ring.
The hand that wears your ring will hug our children close this weekend. Our son will meet sweet baby James for the first time on Saturday. And as we sit there, with the family gathered all around, I will reflect on all the wonderful things about you that I see in each of them.
Our son is growing as an artist. He was inspired to try printmaking when he found my husband’s printmaking plate in his office. When he held it in his hand, he promised he would stop putting it off. It is a long process, and I am looking forward to his first creation. It will be the scenery from the last trip we took with him to the Grand Canyon.
Our daughter is doing an amazing job as a mom. She was working full-time before the baby as a pet rehabilitation specialist. But now that she has a baby, she wants to give her child what my husband gave our family. Kim worked from home so that our children spent less time in daycare. My daughter will be going back to work but hopes to work part-time.
This moment I cannot seem to forget has an upside. It is a constant reminder that each moment matters. How I spend each moment matters. And so, I start each day with Jesus. That is how I make it through the day. (That and the love and support of friends and family.)
Right now, I am reading through First Peter. It speaks of the living hope we have in Christ. It speaks of how we can rejoice even though we face trials. I am surely facing trials. But as First Peter reminds me, these trials are refining me and my faith. And for that I am truly grateful.
It was after reading through First Peter I was reminded of one of the gifts I have received from the Holy Spirit. I love to paint. I love to create. But I haven’t been doing much of that since Kim passed away. I was reminded that God gives us these gifts to use them for His glory. And so, I have taken some time this week to paint.
As I paint, I can feel the Holy Spirit cleansing my thoughts, and healing my broken heart. While I will probably never forget the moment the nurse handed me your ring, the hand that wears your ring can honor God with all that is within me. And in honoring God, I believe I also honor you and the life and love we shared, always and forever.
(Ann Mann is an Emmy Award winning journalist, now serving as pastor to Barnesville First United Methodist Church. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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