With love for Mark on his birthday.
The small silver ring on my left baby finger is a mute reproach to my one regret in life. The enamel heart is slightly chipped and the scrolls are tarnished.
The ring once shone inside a gold plastic ball, my son’s Christmas gift to me. Too small for my ring finger and too big for my pinkie, when the last carol faded, the heart-ring had ended up in a box on my dresser.
I remembered it once a year. Each ornament on our tree has a history, and when we came to the gold plastic ball, Mark would half-joke about the ring I didn’t wear. He once said that as he chose each gift, he imagined his loved-ones’ happy faces when they opened them. Yet their faces were never as bright as he hoped. The tarnished ring fell into that gift-giving category.
The clean scent of pines remind me of those Christmases, and I began wearing the ring about a year and a half after my son died. A gift given with love always fits.
What a beautifully written memory Gina,
Thanks, Mary Helen!
That is beautifully written, Gina. I also share in that regret, I often wonder how much I may have disappointed him… with a look or tone in my voice, with a reaction or inaction… “Should I have just’s” run rampant in my memories of Mark.
He considered you a true friend, and you never disappointed. He always counted on you for a birthday lunch.