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Talisman #5: The Ring

February 17, 2017

It’s a cliche. I know that. The only way it could be more of a cliche is if I posted this update on Tuesday when it was Valentine’s day. But, just because it’s a cliche doesn’t mean it’s not true.

It’s far from a simple band of gold, although it is made of gold. The edges have intricate dentile indentions. It holds five diamonds across the top, inset so that they don’t catch on anything. It has a simple message and date inscribed inside the band.

Everyone has one, right? At least everyone who’s married. It goes on the ring finger of the left hand supposedly because there is a vein that runs from that finger straight to the heart. The ring itself is symbolic. I’ve heard the description that just as a ring has no beginning and no end, a couple’s love should go on forever.

Mine, of course, was chosen for me by my lovely wife. We were young by the world’s standards when we got married. I was 23 and she was still a teenager at a few months past her 19th birthday. In Mormon culture, that’s actually pretty typical. Mormons marry young and have big families. We certainly accomplished the first part and then over achieved on the second part.

I have an aversion to blood. No, really, I’ve been known to pass out just from someone talking about an operation or medical condition. When it was time for my first child to be born, I had to go to therapy so that I was fit to be in the room. It was. . .awful.

Oh sure, the miracle of birth and all that, but I watched the woman I loved in excruiating pain. I knew right there in that delivery room, that if the roles were reversed, and men had to physically bear the children, we would have one kid and then adopt.

God blessed us with three birth children, but made it abundantly clear that the third child was the last child. My lovely wife comes from a family of 15 children. I come from a family with . . .a lot of children. . .that are hard to count. The decision to adopt was an easy one.

Where childbirth was physically demanding, adoption was financially so. Our adoptions were agency adoptions, both domestic and international. The costs are staggering. Fortunately, I was working for Microsoft and money was not really an object during most of them.

We have thirteen children who span the age gap from 14 years old to 28. We’ve been blessed with four grandchildren with two on the way. It’s not an insignificant choice to decide to become mother to a baker’s dozen. I was talking to my brother-in-law,

I admire you. I don’t know if I could do it.

Do what?

Love someone, like those adopted kids, who wasn’t my own flesh and blood.

Were you related to your wife when you got married?

He laughed at my last line. But, he was serious. He had a large family but the idea of loving someone so completely that wasn’t your blood kin was hard for him to imagine. His kids have grown up now, and watching him around his sons and daughters-in-law, I have no doubt he could do it.

Mae West said,

I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.

And while I don’t think she’s 100% right, it does make life easier in some ways if you have money. Over the 30 years we’ve been together, we’ve been wealthy and we’ve been so poor we lived in my brother-in-laws horse barn. We’ve had new cars and we’ve had cars with 200,000 miles on them. We’ve travelled the world and we’ve pinched pennies for gas money. But, through it all, even when I didn’t have money, I was rich. I was wealthy beyond the dreams of Solomon. Because, no matter how tough things got, no matter how bleak the future might look, I had someone beside me that loved me, supported me and trusted me without question.

I am wealthy indeed. And I’m reminded of that every time I look at the gold and the diamonds on my left hand.

This is the fifth in a five part series describing the five talismans in my life and what they mean to me. 
#1 The Coin
#2 The Lapel Pin
#3 The Masonic ring
#4:  The Tie Bar
#5: The Ring

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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