Recently, my ring broke very unexpectedly. It was the only ring I wore. Silver with a mystic fire topaz. This one.
I’d bought it for myself shortly after my fiancé, Patrick, died. I’d wanted a wedding ring just like it. At the time, I fancied it helped keep my bond with him alive and “real.” But it was just a ring I’d bought for myself. And I wore that ring through some incredibly brutal times.
I was sad when it broke, but then I realized that compared to the sadness I’d come through already, with that ring on my finger, it was as nothing. In fact, I’ve come to see it as a kind of release, a liberation. As if my ring were saying, “I belong to that time… but you do not. I’ve accompanied you far enough. You should go on ahead now. Find a new ring to go with you.”
It reminded me of a very vivid dream I had one night a few years ago. I was sitting next to Patrick. It seemed we were up on a high cliff, overlooking a sea. He was telling me that our ways must part and we must go on our own ways. He said there were other people who needed my love, and I must go to them and not linger near the past any more. It was a sweet, gentle, simply truthful scene.
I felt a definite breaking off, a definite separation. But it was a natural break, not a painful, jarring one. It wasn’t a complete destruction of the past–nothing can ever destroy the time we had together. It just shrank to a broken shard that I could carry around for remembrance, but not enter back into.
Sort of like the piece of ring I still have lying on the table. I’ll probably keep it, at least for a while. I still admire it. But I won’t be wearing it any more. I won’t be having it repaired. I’m going to let it stay broken. And get a new ring for this new time in my life.
I’m thinking about a deep red garnet. It can remind me of the Precious Blood of Christ that has purchased my new lease on life–not only this life, but the one to come. Maybe this one.
Or perhaps a lovely color-changing alexandrite to remind me of life’s transience? Perhaps this one?
What do you think? Are there any gemstones that have special significance in Catholic tradition?