Lord of the Rings
Faith and I wear double rings on our ring finger. One of which is our wedding ring and the other the ring we gave each other while we were courting. I think I lost my pair.
The thing about playing basketball is that you have to remove all unnecessary accessories. My pre-balling routine consists of taking off my watch and my rings, lest I gouge someone’s eyes out while going up for a rebound. I usually thread my lanyard through the two rings and my watch.
They weren’t there when I returned. Honestly, I don’t know if I even brought them to the court in my bag. I started searching frantically in drawers and any horizontal surface I might have placed them on. Didn’t find them.
I braced myself for a tongue-lashing and told Faith that I had lost them, hoping she had kept them. I was half-freaking out at this point. She helped me look for them for a bit. When it was more or less clear that they couldn’t be found, she looked at me, held my shoulders and said “it’s ok”. It wasn’t said in a sarcastic or hurtful manner. She really wanted me to know that it was ok. That it wasn’t my fault.
I can’t even describe the gushing feeling in my heart.
“It’s a symbol”, she said.
“That I play too much basketball?”
“It’s a symbol”, she repeated, referring to the rings.
Most women would have equated losing the rings to some marital infidelity or a lack of responsibility in the man’s part in the marriage. But here was Faith, more concerned that I calmed down than the loss of the symbols of our union.
I reached out to her and touched her.
“The love you have for me in your heart is more perfect than any ring”, I told her. I really, truly meant every word.
My dearest, I will remember this as long as I live. That you would love me so purely, without the constraints of innuendos and grasping of shadows and meanings. You’ve always thought that you do not love me to the same degree as I love you. There is no better proof than this night. You love me in such a complete way, and it is clear that our hearts were made to be enjoined to each other.
“I love you” comes across as almost too understated an expression. But I do. I really, really do.