My parents bought me this ring when I was ten years old. I’ve always been a person who cries regardless of the emotion–happy, sad, angry… hungry–and at ten years old I cried when I opened this gift on Christmas. It’s not an amazing ring, it’s not extravagant or overly expensive, but the diamond cluster is exactly like the one on my Mom’s engagement ring and my Dad was SO happy to give me this gift.
Now that they’re gone, it’s become a bit of a ritual for me to wear this ring on days that matter, days when they should be here or when I’m doing something to honor them. I don’t wear it every day, only when it feels right. Any time I know I’m going to be telling the story of Mom and Dad’s life and death, I slip on this ring. When I’m speaking from a stage, I wear this ring. When it’s a hard day, I slide this ring onto my finger to remind me of just how much they loved me. I wore this ring on my first day of college six years ago, and I wore it today on my first day back.
I’ve loved sign language since I was a kid and I’ve wanted to be an Interpreter since I was seventeen, but in the years immediately following Mom and Dad’s death I didn’t have the mental capacity for anything but survival. I tried, I really did, but my brain just couldn’t do anything but survive. Now, eight years after the accident, God, and Tyler, and my sweet friend Kari helped me see that I was ready, that I’m healed now. I’m no longer in survival mode, I’m ready to live again and I have a whole lot of living left to do.
So here I go, chasing after a buried but never forgotten dream.
Today I wish Mom and Dad were here to cheer me on and I’m honoring them by going after my passion and goals like they always dreamed I would. I wish they would be here for graduation down the road, but I’m honoring them by pursuing that graduation day. This ring reminds me of them. It reminds me that they lived, that they loved me, and that I’m honoring them by living after losing them. I’m honoring them by not letting loss and grief be the end of the story. And that honors God too. Because He is the only reason I’m here, I’m healed, I’m whole, and I’m ready to see what He has in store for the future.