Each ring now seems so very delicate, as though it might dissolve within my fingers, but perhaps it is only the passages of life that make them seem that way. Her wedding band was crafted in a hexagon shape when she first wore it upon her finger, and although the years have softened the corners of the band, the shape is still there.
There were only a few occasions in the year when both rings were not together on her finger. In the springtime my mother would give the house a thorough cleaning, so her engagement ring would be taken off and put away to ensure the stones would not be damaged. Just before Christmas each year she would do the same. On her very last day when my mother was in the hospital, in the early morning, a nurse instructed me to remove both rings from my mom's finger, and take them home for safe keeping, but I refused, saying the rings were where they were meant to be.
At the funeral home, after our last goodbyes and just before he closed the casket, the funeral director removed the rings from my mam's finger. He put them into a small red velvet pouch and handed them to me. In a reassuring voice he told me that the rings had very easily slipped from her finger. In exactly that moment finally I understood that my mother was truly gone, and I knew with certainty that Mam was with Dad in that heavenly place where such markers of earthly life are of no consequence.
In loving memory of our mother Mary on this day, the second anniversary of her death.