Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Engagement Ring and Its Past

Mr. Cowboy Boot and his family haven't always been on the best of terms (no one's fault, in particular). Tumultuous teenage years can often send children and their parents in unwieldy directions. I know mine did. But, I also happen to come from a family that is overly-communicative (read: two psychologist parents), therefore most of our problems (read: my teenage angst) were solved by the time I left for college. Mr. CB and his family, however, had a harder go of it.

That is, until recently.

FIL Cowboy Boots' Dog, Lily 

When we lived in New York City, we went up to his parent's house to get away from the grime and grit that Manhattan can be. They live in the rolling countryside of the Finger Lakes region. It's amazing, quite frankly. The more and more we visited, the more I could feel the walls break down and warmer feelings come through. It wasn't so much that either party had shifted their views or that deep, problem-fixing conversations were taking place, but that, with a fourth party in the relationship (me), the dynamic was changing. It was no longer only a relationship between them and their son. They were getting to know me and us, as the Cowboy Boots together, and that took vulnerability on all of our parts. But, with time, it's opened up the door a little for emotion, risks, talking about things, and becoming closer.

The FIL Cowboy Boots' Home

The peace-making moment was this: FMIL Cowboy Boot gave her son (Mr. CB) her mother's engagement ring to give to me. Mr. CB's parent's are divorced and the FMIL Cowboy Boot I mention here is his step-mom. A lot of families pass jewelry down the line, creating heirlooms, which I love. For FMIL CB, this was more difficult than for most. Her mom passed away when she was six. This platinum-and-diamond ring has much more value to her than probably most of the jewelry in her jewelry box. And not because of the metal.

The Engagement Ring

The ring arrived one day via FedEx (Mr. CB didn't have it when he proposed) and I waited until we were together that evening to open it up. The ring that arrived wasn't exactly what I was expecting with curly-cues and thin, fragile details--it was art deco-yet simple and elegant,and  originally from Brooklyn (our old stomping grounds). I slipped it on (okay, after three re-sizings) and, even though it wasn't the e-ring I had in mind, it has major symbolism, and aesthetically, I love its classic simplicity.

(Ignore my silly face)

Along with the ring came a very caring card from FMIL Cowboy Boot. To give us something so near and dear to her was a symbol of how much she cares about their relationship (which is now all of our relationship). It makes me proud to wear an heirloom that would have many stories to tell if it could talk--stories of hard times, good times, lonely times and loving times. It's a daily reminder that life is not easy, but it's a whole lot easier with a few words and a little generosity.

Does anything in your wedding have back story?

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