When James died he was wearing two rings. His original wedding band on the right hand. And his 're-newed' band on the left, from when we renewed our vows right before he left for the Marine Corps. When I buried him, I left the new one on him, and took the original one and put it on my hand next to my wedding band. It has been a source of strength.
It's been almost a year now, which in itself is frightening for me. Until a few weeks ago I felt I needed that ring. I needed its protection. It's closeness.
James and I had had very candid conversations about death. It's seemed slightly awkward at the time, but necessary. We talked about the kids if one of us were to die, and re-marrying. We talked about burial spots, and scripture.
When I was cleaning my desk at home a few weeks ago, I found a letter I had written to James years ago. He had been in a dark place, and was seeking the Lord's Word as comfort. He had asked if I could find a few verses that may help him see beyond today. I had forgotten about this letter until now, but then as soon as I opened it, all of its memories came flooding back in....
...and there at the bottom of the letter, where I had saved the best for last, was Psalm 18:6. This verse has made its presence known since then, in the most humbling of ways.
When I read those words at the bottom of that page from years and years ago, the same words that are now written upon the grave of my husband, my heart began to change. I have been grieving the loss of my husband for months now, which has been necessary, and will continue to be necessary, but I need not grieve for HIM anymore. As it seems he has made it just fine to the next stage. (This is where I wish I had learned to play 'I can only imagine' by Mercy Me. He LOVED that song.) He doesn't need to imagine any more.
Stacie too found a letter from James that weekend, when he was away in the Marines. And not only was it relevant to that time in her life, but the implications it had for present day were eerie... and beautiful. A note from above?
I moved his wedding band from my left hand to my right that weekend. My left hand feels naked, and a little scared. James is just fine where he is now. I suppose I get to focus on me now, and that it really strange territory.
Just as I was starting to get used to the rearranging of the rings on my hands... my engagement ring on my left hand got caught underneath a drawer this morning...and broke. Diamond and all. At first I cried and tried to find the missing diamond. And then a momentary notion of clarity took form. Maybe James knew it would take me another year to move another ring...so he thought he'd just 'help' me along a little? He would also know that I could never go get that ring fixed. Getting a ring fixed for a marriage to my dead husband...doesn't sit well with me. And he would know this.
I guess I'm rounding a corner. And it's scary and I'm anxious. And I am thankful for the little signs from James that he is OK, and it is OK for me to be OK now too.