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WEIGHT

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WEIGHT

Cindy Maddera

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When I first put Chris's ring on a chain around my neck I was shocked by the weight of it. It felt so big and heavy and almost hurt as it banged against my sternum. As I put it on I remembered the day he had lost it. He had lost so much weight that the ring had simply slipped off. I remembered his panic at the realization that it was missing. I remembered how I tried to calm him at the same time frantically searching in all the usual places and then finding it in the crack between the cushions in the chair. I remembered the look on his face when he put it back on and it just slipped right back off, the realization that he would never get better. All of this flashed into my brain as I clasped the chain holding that ring around my neck. The day we got Chris's ring, he spent hours putting it on and then slinging his hand around trying to get it to fall off. Testing it. Testing to make sure it was a proper fit. I remember putting it on his finger when we got married. He had just washed his hands and I couldn't get the ring to go on. I ended up screwing it onto his finger. We laughed about it afterward. I used to talk about replacing it one day with real gold and silver. Every time I mentioned it, he would say "No Way! This ring could save your life in an under water derrick". I used to get mad at him when I'd find it sitting on the coffee table. I remember how I could never really hold his left hand because the ring would cut into my finger. I remember how he never forgot to wear it.

The other day, there was a moment when I didn't feel the ring. Did I forget to put it on this morning? Did I loose it? How could I loose it? Surely I'd know if I'd lost it. All of these thoughts flowing through my brain during the seconds of panic as my hands fluttered to my neck and my fingers made contact with the cool metal. Then came the sigh of relief as I slid the ring onto my thumb and twisted it around and around. There's a comfort in the soft smooth inside of the ring. But then came the realization that the ring doesn't seem as heavy, that I can hardly feel the weight of it at all any more. I've gotten used to the weight or stronger with carrying it around. Or a little of both.