November 29, 1969… 10:00 PM
As the reception wound down, Mom began asking what ought to be done with the leftover food and flowers. “Maybe we should feed the adult Sunday school classes in the morning,” she said, always thinking of others. She urged the last guests to take some with them and ran to the kitchen for plastic bags.
I wondered what my new mother-in-law thought of mom, having spent a weekend with her. Even though they were quite different, these two had begun to forge a friendship, which was satisfying to watch. After all, if Nate and I ended up with children, our moms would share them as grandmothers.
Our four parents were bushed but cheerfully posed for a few last pictures, probably hoping all the photographer’s boxes would soon be checked.
Nate and I were beginning to look at each other with longing but knew it wouldn’t be simple to transition from wedding to honeymoon. Very likely it would take some time… and some creativity.
As Nate and I held hands and watched the photographer work, I felt something funny – Nate’s wedding band. Lifting his hand, I studied his ring for the first time. His whole hand looked different… unusual… fantastic.
Having not anticipated how his ring might look on him, I was pleasantly surprised at the surge of warmth I felt. He was happy to be identified as a married man, and I was glad other girls would see his ring and know he was “taken.” That smacked of possessiveness, though I knew he didn’t really “belong” to me… or… maybe he did.
Nate was more than happy to “be mine” and had longed for that reality for 3 years. I was also thrilled to “belong” to him. As of a few hours ago, we’d promised to have an exclusive relationship with each other that we would never have with anyone else… throughout our lifetimes. Our rings were outward evidence of those inner commitments.
Though some might label that a restriction, as I stood there studying Nate’s hand and its shiny new ring, I felt totally secure and extremely special. I was in a category where no other girl could be. Nate was mine, and I was his – something we had wanted more than anything else in the world. And now, at long last, we were there.
“Love burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)