Unexpected "Moments" Three Years Later


Unexpected "Moments" Three Years Later

Dad, the prince and me

(Editor's Note: Today we welcome Leslie to our blogging team. You can connect with her on her profile page: @leslie.)

A number of years ago I had just broken up with a man I loved deeply. The next day at work, I was raw to say the least. All I wanted to do was go home, crawl into bed and have a good cry but I put on a happy face and acted as normal as possible.

Mid morning, my father walked in with an expression on his face that I didn't recognize. He asked if we could go to my office for a private moment (my office was the size of a postage stamp), but I closed the door behind him and met his gaze as his eyes became teary. This alone was unsettling as my dad is of the post depression era and didn't often show his emotions in such a fashion. He proceeded to tell me of his angst that my mother had never had her very own diamond ring. When they were engaged she had a family diamond and after the passing of her mother had several family stones set into a lovely ring. But Dad felt that he owed her a diamond ring. "Your Mother has always been there for me, supported me, cheered for me no matter what was going on. You may not know this, but I haven't always been the easiest guy to live with. The least I can do is gift her with a lovely ring that is all her own."

Needless to say, it took every ounce of strength to hold my already surging emotions in check as I listened to my dad celebrate the attributes of his bride. I gulped back the lump in my throat and off we went to our local jeweler to look for just the right ring. The sparkle and beauty of the ring we chose together has remained with me ever since.

After a lengthy battle with both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease, Dad left this world three years ago this April. Mom now lives with us in her own apartment and has been a picture of strength and resolve to move forward into the next chapter of her life. Our emotions have settled down a bit in these last few years. I've made great progress with the double dose of grief that accompanies the death of someone with Alzheimer's, and I have a comforting sense of peace of the time I was able to dedicate to Dad's care and to being with him in his last days.

Recently I took Mom to our new jeweler to have her ring re-pointed as it had gotten a bit warn. You know I can look at that ring when it is dulled with day-to-day wear with just a smile and sweet memory. However, today I stood at the counter to pick up her ring for her as a surprise.  When the jeweler pulled the ring out of its cloth nest, the lights caught the facets of that newly cleaned ring and it looked exactly like it did the day we first saw it on its white velvet board. I caught my breath and felt the fresh hot flush of tears involuntarily rushing down my cheeks. I took a moment to try and compose myself as the receipt printed out and by the time the jeweler looked back at me, I managed at least a shaky smile through the tears.

As I opened the opulent tinted glass doors I gulped in a few breaths of cool spring air like a refreshing glass of cold water to settle myself back down. How we can transport through decades in the blink of an eye is amazing to me. So many layers of thought and emotion to work my way through today! Even the pain in our hearts can become precious when there is such love, respect and a fine example of love around it.  Thank you Dad for teaching me so much about love.

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What a beautiful story, beautifully told. Thank you so much. Your parents sound like amazing people. And you are their amazing child.