On the ring finger of my left hand I wear the wedding ring that Lisa gave to me when we got married 3 years ago. I wear another ring on the pinky finger of my right hand.
When Amy died, I felt a huge emptiness like there was a hole in my chest that couldn’t be filled. I was lonely and I just wanted that to go away. I would hear the Michael Buble’ song “Home” playing on the radio. Toward the end of the song the lyrics say, “And I’m surrounded by, a million people I, still feel alone.” That is exactly how I felt.
I was busy taking care of patient’s, constantly surrounded by people, friends at church would ask how I was doing as a widower with 5 kids, but I still felt alone. I was missing the connection and support of a spouse that’s got your back, but I didn’t know how much I relied upon it and missed it until it was gone.
I’ve never been divorced so I didn’t have emotional baggage of a bitter marriage to sway me from seeking out a new relationship. I also think I’m pretty rational and logical and I knew my children really needed a mother. At the time of Amy’s death, my children’s ages were 12, 10, 6, 3, and little Quinton was just 16 months old. My heart hurt for myself but especially for my children. I wanted to fix this problem so I naively started dating. What I thought would be easy was actually terrifying and very difficult at age 40. But to be fair to the women I was dating, I took off my wedding ring.
Some time after I hit the one year mark of Amy’s death, I came across a small inexpensive silver ring in her jewelry box that I had given her soon after we we married in 1996. She use to wear it as her “gym” ring when she would work in the yard, do dishes, or anything where she didn’t want to lose or damage her diamond wedding ring. I tried this ring on and it didn’t fit my ring finger but it fit my pinky fingers perfectly.
Wearing that ring has helped me to know that although I am pressing forward in this life to do what I think is best, I’m not leaving Amy behind or forgetting about her. So now, on my left ring finger sits the wedding ring that Lisa gave me to signify my commitment to Lisa and on my right pinky finger sits the simple silver band to remember my wife Amy.
No one ever asks why I wear it. Lisa knows why I wear it and she’s OK with it and she’s not jealous.
It may seem strange in our monogomous society how I can deeply love two women. It has almost been 5 years and there is still a hole in my heart, but Lisa has helped it to heal. It has taken a little while but I now feel that support and connection that I once longed for. Lisa has helped to bring my passion for life back which for a time after Amy’s death use to be more of a forced flicker. I’m grateful for the two women in my life and for the rings I get to wear to remember them both.