February 18, 2011

Friendship, Loyalty & Love

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:54 am by letterstoelias

Timing can be a funny thing.

It’s been a little while now since I moved my wedding band to join Elias’ on my necklace.  Not yet ready to leave my ring finger bare, I moved my claddagh ring to its place and still wore my engagement ring where the claddagh ring had been.

Recently, I moved the engagement ring to the necklace as well.  In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been considering moving the claddagh ring back to my right hand and leaving my ‘ring finger’ bare once and for all.

I’ve slipped it off a couple of times at home to see how it feels.  I know I’m not ‘there’ just yet, but I suppose I’m gradually moving closer.  I became uncomfortably aware of its absence from my finger one day at home when my mom came by . . . I don’t believe she noticed and it wouldn’t have really mattered if she did, but I think my discomfort with it and my quick, inconspicuous switch back tells me I need a bit more time.

Tomorrow I have to ferry into town to get work done on my car, and providing there’s no snow, I’ll be without the girls.  The chance of running into someone I know is not too likely.  Without the girls I won’t worry as much about others perceptions/assumptions of my marital status.  So, I’ve been considering taking myself for a ‘test drive’, and taking the ring off for the few hours I’m away.

This morning I was putting a great deal of thought towards my claddagh ring.  I stare at it often.  I twirl it around on my finger as I did my wedding ring/engagement band.  While it’s not the ring that ‘should’ be there, there are many reasons it gives me comfort (even though at times I am still self-conscious about it).

Those who know the history of the claddagh may know why – in short it symbolizes Friendship, Loyalty and Love – though there are numerous, wonderful folklore tales attached to its origins as well.

And, I have my own story with mine.

Elias and I travelled to Ireland almost 8yrs ago.  It was a dream come true for me (I have some Irish heritage and had always been drawn to it).  We stayed with my Grandpa’s cousin – it was far too short as we had other stops in the UK to make, but it was a wonderful trip.  Before going I had wanted to get a claddagh ring, and how exciting to actually get one from Ireland!

But, we had spent a great deal of money just on the trip.  Once there, I didn’t feel there was enough left to spare on something like that, so instead I longingly window-shopped at rings, having decided against spending the money to get one.

For some reason the memory of the day I got mine came to me so, very clearly this morning.  Our last hour in Ireland, walking into the airport duty free shop about to board a plane to take us to our next destination, I spotted one that was cute and affordable, but I still didn’t want to spend the money.  It was not fancy or expensive – probably only around $25 (I actually still have the receipt somewhere in my office), but I didn’t see the point.  Regardless of how badly I wanted one, I wasn’t going to buy it.

Elias came up to me and insisted I buy it.  “You know you want one.  You’ve been looking at them the whole time we’ve been here!  Just buy it!”  I didn’t realize he knew how much I wanted one, but I still argued it wasn’t necessary.  He said he didn’t care and walked it up to the cash register (along with the silly little stuffed lamb that played Irish Eyes – though I don’t quite recall how that happened!*).

I remember feeling so, very happy about it.  Excited to finally have my ring.  And, it made him happy too.  I remember smiling and laughing giddily with him as I paid for it.  It was by no means an elaborate, grand gesture, but it meant the world to me.  And, I’ve worn it every day, since that day.


Today at the store as I was helping a customer, she commented on my ring.  She mentioned how she had wanted a claddagh ring, but so many she had seen looked cheap, and she thought mine was a nice one.

I felt my face go red hot at first – people don’t usually comment on it and for whatever reason I felt somewhat ‘exposed’ for a moment (I guess because it’s not my wedding ring??) . . . but then I just smiled, nodded my head and thanked her.

I know she didn’t get a great/close look at it and maybe if she had she wouldn’t have thought that way.  In terms of money – it is absolutely a cheap ring (the green stone that once adorned the heart in it fell out in a matter of weeks, but I continued to wear it as I feel it looks just fine without it).   There are plenty of gorgeous claddagh rings out there (some of which I would love to have!) that are ‘worth’ a great deal more.

But this ring, cheap as it was, is invaluable to me.  Absolutely invaluable.

* * * * *

Thank you Elias,

Thank you for ‘making’ me buy the ring.  You knew how much it would mean to me then – and now, almost 8yrs later, it means so much more.  I’m thankful that it is something I will always feel comfortable wearing, even on the right hand, and it will always remind me of you and our love for each other.

My Friendship.  My Loyalty.  My Love.

For you, always and forever.


P.S.  I Love You

*I kept a journal of our trip (the only time I’ve ever done that . . . ) and after writing this post I was curious to see if there was anything about the ring there.  A quick glance through and I found mention of the day we bought it (and it explains the sheep!):

“ We made it to the airport in plenty of time, yet I was disappointed that I didn’t get a real souvenir or trinket.  The shop in the airport had just shut its doors, so we went to the little magazine shop.  I had desperately wanted a claddagh ring, but all that they had was a little stuffed sheep, ‘Musical Mollie’ who, when squeezed, plays ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling’ which I bought, much to Elias’ dismay {that part made me laugh}. After we went through security, we entered the duty free store which, wouldn’t you know it, sold claddagh rings!  I bought one of those as well =)”

Now I remember that the other reason I didn’t want to spend the money on the ring was because I had already bought the silly sheep – which I only bought because I wanted to at least have ‘something’ from Ireland . . .

I also read through other bits and pieces of the journal, and had myself laughing and crying.  I’m so thankful I wrote so much of it down, and I’ll have to try and get through the rest of it sometime soon (maybe read it to the girls).



  1. Cathy said,

    my sweetie bought me one too (when we were dating before we married). But it was at a suburban mall – not in Ireland, I actually have scars from the tip of the heart poking me on my finger through the years of wearing it. I hope to give it one day to one of the boys to give to their wife. Or I might give it to my god-daughter.
    When I read other peoples blogs, I travel, I remember and I feel for you too. I have recently gone through some journals from my travels with WD, we were so in love.
    I now have a new wedding ring, from a new Dave. Turning the pages in the book was hard. So hard. I just hyphenated my name on my Driver’s License . Didn’t drop my last name, just added the new one.
    You are processing and working on your life. One day at a time.
    I wish I blogged. I wish I could expose myself. I have so much to say!

  2. Shannon said,

    That’s a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it.

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