O.K. Maybe it was cheaply made. I don't know at this point.
Here's what I do know.
When my wife and I took our anniversary cruise to Cozumel, I bought her a ring. It was absolutely gorgeous on her, and she wore it proudly. We got a great deal on it, and it wasn't from one of the ship's "reputable" dealers. That wasn't necessarily important to me. It looked good. We didn't pay an arm and a leg for it, and my wife like it. End of story.
Until this weekend.
Saturday evening, my wife looked at her ring and noticed that one of the pieces of Australian Opal had fallen out. We don't know where. It could be in the car. It could be in our bedroom. It could still be at my wife's parent's house. I haven't spent copious amounts of time looking. It's not necessarily that important to me.
My wife has shed a few tears over the ordeal, and I think she wonders how it is I am not upset. I think she wonders how I could seemingly shrug my shoulders at her when she told me about it and say, "It's just a rock."
She shared her pain with some wonderful church members on Sunday including my statement about it being "just a rock." I saw some of those ladies at quilting yesterday. I don't think they quite understood how I could say such a thing.
I told them a story about when I was in high school. One Christmas, all I asked for was a gold cross necklace. I didn't get it. Until my birthday. (My birthday is January 4th.) That necklace was my pride and joy. I cherished it. The only time I took it off was to play sports. Otherwise, it hung proudly on my neck.
I wore it all through college. There, they didn't make you take off jewelry to play in intramurals. I didn't. Might have been a mistake. During one intramural football game, the necklace was ripped from my neck. I didn't notice it until the game was over. My suspicion is the guy I was going up against tore it off and took it, but I can't prove anything.
I looked all over the fields for hours trying to find it...to no avail. Later, I called my parents and told them. I was literally sobbing in apology that I had lost the necklace they had given me. I won't forget the lesson learned. "It's just a necklace," they said. No anger. No frustration. No hint of a reaction. "It's just a necklace."
My parents taught me something about the importance of things on that day. I cherished something that was perishable. I thought it was part of me. But it wasn't. It was just a necklace. Nothing more.
I looked at those quilting ladies after telling my story and said once again, "It's just a rock. Perhaps an expensive rock, but it's a rock none-the less."
I think some of them got it. Now, back to my wife's ring.
You see, to me, that ring is just a ring. It's some metal with some pretty stones in it. It's nice to look at, but the ring, in and of itself is worthless. It has no value to me. But the person on whom the ring sits...now there is where the value lies.
I can stand to lose a piece of Australian Opal. It's a rock.
I don't think I could stand very well to lose my wife.
One I cherish deeply.
The other is just a rock.