When I was almost five, my parents celebrated their tenth anniversary. My dad gave my mom a ring with nine diamonds on it. I asked him why it wasn’t a ring with ten diamonds (I was very proud of myself for figuring out the flaw in his plan), and he told me that he had already given her one when they got engaged. This was logic that even a four-year-old could not argue with.
Mike has told me for many years that he would like to get me another ring for our upcoming tenth anniversary. I have had mixed feelings about it – I do enjoy shiny things that sparkle, but I probably enjoy them less than the average girl. We replaced my engagement ring a couple of years ago when the one he bought originally gave up the ghost. Besides, what I really wanted was my mom’s ring.
I learned a lot about being married by watching my parents. I watched them love, honor, and cherish each other. I grew up knowing my dad would do anything, anything, anything in his power to make my mom happy. I watched my mom trust my dad to make the right decisions for our family, and I watched them make those decisions together. I knew they disagreed sometimes, but they presented to us a united front. They were not perfect together, but I did not have trouble understanding what Ephesians 5 could look like. I saw it. Every day.
The very last thing that my dad told me and Mike was to take care of each other. That was certainly what my parents did, through richer and poorer, sickness and health. They took care of each other for 32 years before he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Mike and I have only experienced a small portion of that, but we have learned some things about sacrifice and commitment and the profound mystery of two becoming one.
For Valentine’s Day, my mom gave me the ring. I am proud and thankful to be able to wear it as a reminder of where I have come from and the commitment that Mike and I continue to make to each other every day.