A tangled mess of blond locks dangled over the princess quilt. “Wake up, sleeping beauty. Where’s that little mouth to kiss?” I slowly pulled back the blanket to see my five year-old daughter’s heart shape mouth smile. “I knew it! One peck on your apple cheeks should get you up.”
Katie giggled. Then I scooped her up and brought her to the bathroom. Morning giggles could need a mop if we didn’t hurry. As her eyes opened to full size, I reminded her what day it was. “Today’s your aunt’s wedding.”
“Yah! It’s flower girl day!” Katie bounced around her room. “Can I put my dress on now?”
“After breakfast. You wouldn’t want to walk down the isle with Rice Krispies stuck to your ruffles, right?”
“Okay. I’m gonna eat faster than daddy!”
After we cleaned up and bathed, primped and preened, I helped Katie into her taffeta dress.
“Look mom.” Katie waved her hand, adorned with a chunky plastic emerald green ring. “My Barbie ring matches the ribbons on my flowers and your dress too.”
I didn’t tell her green and teal were different…just nodded and said, “You’re right, but you have to take it off for the wedding.”
“No, I want to wear it.”
“Would you like to pick something from my jewelry box instead?”
“I’m still gonna wear my ring,” she yelled as she darted toward my room. Katie unhooked the latch like opening a small treasure box.
“Those are earrings I made out of clay and painted to look like girls from the 1920s.”
“My high school ring.”
“Is this another ring you made? It looks messed up.”
“No, daddy made that one; it’s my engagement ring.” I picked up the clay ring, painted green with yellow fish. Memories in my hand.
“What’s a cagement ring?”
“An engagement ring is a ring that a woman wears to show she is getting married.”
“Where’s the diamond? I thought brides get to wear diamonds.”
“I’ll tell you our fairy tale…”
Once upon a starlit evening, a young couple sat on a bench overlooking the East River in Manhattan. They watched the oil in the tracks of the barge passing by form circle blobs. They listened to the squirrels or possibly rats dig through trash. They were happy.
He said, “You wouldn’t marry me, would you?”
She said, “You won’t know unless you ask.”
“Would you marry me?”
They were a couple in love, but without much money. He had just graduated from an art college. She was still in art school. Now he was naïve (I’ll explain that word to you later) and didn’t realize a girl likes a ring to show off to her friends that she’s engaged. She didn’t care what kind of ring it was, just as long as it fit.
One day, while they were both painting, she said, “I have an idea. Let’s make each other a ring.”
“Okay, we won’t show it until we’re both finished.”
We, I mean they, both took some wire and covered it with my, I mean her, jewelry clay and created a ring. A symbol of our, their, love and commitment to one another.
He painted hers green for their love to grow. The five golden fish represented God joining them together and remaining the center of their marriage.
“What happened to her ring? Did her dog chew on it?”
“No, she wore it proudly to art class everyday. As she washed her paintbrushes and hands a zillion times a day at school, it began to chip. But she wore it chipped until their wedding day when he graced her finger with a golden band. With small diamonds.”
“I love diamonds.”
“Want to hear the ending?”
They got married outdoors at a golf course on a perfect cloudless day. She didn’t wear her green ring, but they were surrounded by green trees and rolling hills edged with daisies. God was there. And a curious cat who zigzagged around the guests.
The couple never needed riches because they were blessed with a love that would keep growing. God supplied their needs and gave them a child for each fish on her green ring.
“Did they live happily ever after?”
“They sure did. Now, let’s get to that wedding.”
“You should wear your green ring too.”
“Maybe I will.”
My husband peeked in at us. “You both look beautiful. Let’s go.”
As I walked, a green ring danced in my purse.
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