... whether you want them to or not. I mean ---- obviously, right? I decided to carry forward with both Michele's post and Michelle's post.
After Jim died I never considered removing my wedding rings. Never. I felt it would be on my finger forever. And for many, many months it was.
And then one day ..... that feeling changed. I know that I am still Jim's wife. I will always be Jim's wife .... but to the outside world .... I am not. And so it suddenly felt like I was doing something false by wearing the rings. I in no way think this is true for every widow .... or even most widows .... I just know that one day .... it was true for me.
And so I took them (his and mine) to our local (and much frequented by Jim) jewelry shop and told them what I wanted. The rings fit perfectly inside of each other ..... and I wanted them at an angle. But I also wanted to be able to easily remove them, in case I change my mind down the road, or one of the kids wanted to use them.
This was my design and now I wear it every day (I think if you click on the picture you can see it up close).
Another irony is that several years ago I tore a picture out of a magazine and told Jim that this was the ring I would like for our 25th wedding anniversary. I was giving him fair notice ... he had over 2 years to plan. I had no idea whether he'd do it or not, but I soon forgot about it.
Then, on the Christmas vacation when we had just returned from Italy, we let the kids each unwrap a few, inexpensive toys. The trip to Italy was our gift .... to them and to each other. I had no idea that he had snuck a box into my stocking ...... until he asked me why my stocking was lying next to me and that maybe I should check it. I had no idea what he was up to.
But imagine my surprise when I opened that box and there sat the exact same, beautiful diamond ring that I had asked for our 25th anniversary. I screamed and ran across the room and grabbed him by the neck to hug and kiss him.
Then I asked him why he had given it to me this early ..... still a few years before the actual date. He replied, "We have now known each other 25 years .... I figured it was as good a time as any."
Fortunately for me he didn't wait until the official anniversary (or ironically, depending on you point of view) ..... we never made it to our 25th anniversary. He died 5 months before it. But I still have the ring ...... and I rarely take it off.
It wasn't like Jim to act impetuous and not plan something out to the T. This was a God-Thing. There is no doubt in my mind.
Here is the ring:
The next thing that changed greatly was my desire to have a tattoo. I had NEVER before wanted one, in spite of much pressure from my daughters ..... never planned to.
But suddenly I did ..... and it seemed so right. It still seems so right. I love it. And though it's backwards in this picture .... it's Jim's signature (yes, they can copy that) written over a heart. And then I included our wedding verse underneath it. I love it every day. Every time I see it, I smile. That's why I put it on my wrist .... for me to see .... not for anyone else. I wanted to see it and touch it ..... and remember. And I don't regret it at all. Sorry, that for you ..... it's backwards.
So there you go ...... three random and totally unexpected changes ..... and I'm still OK. Not always, but more and more.
Some weeks are still mired in blackness, some weeks seem a lighter grey and almost a brown.
Other things have changed ..... friendships have shifted. Some have lessened, some have increased. I can't explain any of it ..... nor, most likely can the people involved, but it's true.
Someone once told me that the second year is worse than the first. I had hoped she was kidding.
She was not.
I think people expect us to suddenly "be better" and we sometimes expect that of ourselves. We get tired of being sad. I know I do.
But I'm learning that things change ..... day by day ...... sometimes moment by moment ..... and I'm going to hang on for the ride.
And when an opportunity presents itself in front of me .... I'm going to jump at it now. "Before" I would've said I was too busy .... that I didn't have time. Now I know differently. Things come in front of me for a reason .... and I will look at each and every opportunity ..... because things change.
Sometimes for the worse.
Sometimes for the better.
Many times for the different.
And different can be something very, very good ...... if we allow it.