When telling a story, Jeff or I would occasionally correct each other's rendition of the tale. Although I am always as truthful as possible, there were times when either of us would need a reminder of the facts of a past event and it was comforting to know that I could always ask him some small memory that was remembered by both of us. "How long was Liv's labour?" "Remember that road trip to Hardy? Why did we camp at the side of the road?"
It seems, however, that my grief stricken brain rewrote a little part of history without my consent.
It all starts with the question I would sometimes get after Jeff's death, "When are you planning to take off the ring?"
I'd stare down at it as I had for years and say "I've never taken it off since he put it on...."
It's not that I was proud of this or felt that it validated my love or loyalty for Jeff any more than it would for any other widow. It was just that it seemed so much more...insurmountable because I had never taken it off....ever. I wanted to moment I removed it to be "just right" and I hadn't found that moment yet.
So last summer at Camp Widow, while sitting with Matt and Mel, I slipped it from my finger. My hand felt naked and odd, but no earthquakes rumbled beneath my feet and birds in flight above the building stayed in the sky.
It felt appropriate to be with others who understood and knew just how big this moment was to me....after all, I had never taken it off, right?
And then, recently, while looking through photos from the days just after Jeff's death, I found one of Jeff's ring....enveloping mine. It was not on my hand. It was on the kitchen table. Somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I think I may remember this moment now. Jeff's sister had asked to see the ring, I think, for comparison to his mammoth-sized band.
I find it odd and, truthfully, a bit scary that I had forgotten this. I went around believing that I had never, ever taken it off. I wonder if anyone else noticed my lapse in memory or if it was just me. Who, other than photographs, will be my 'fact checker' now?