The Ring and the New Year

I guess the new year always brings in the good and the sad.  The reflection of what is not great compared to the wonderful.  This was reflected in my day both physically and mentally.  As my kids are back in school after the break and I am getting ready to head back to work, I am trying to finish some tasks and tend to matters that I have decided are important now. 

The day started off misty and rainy damp.  The sky was gray, but then gave way to the sun and the temperature rose.  For January, it was a perfectly lovely day.  I had to put on my sunglasses and take off my coat.  As I was driving to the jewelers, I noticed road signs that stated de-icing efforts were underway and, sure enough, minutes later I saw a truck putting salt on the roads.  This struck me as so odd.  The temperature was in the 60s and yet we were preparing for snow several days later. 

In North Carolina, even if it does snow, it will be sunny and warm within hours to days and the snow or ice will melt and the temperatures will again rise into the 50s.  A downward blip to make you rest and reflect followed by an upward surge of sunshine and activity.  And so is life…..

Once I made it to the jewelry store, I rang the doorbell and was buzzed inside.  It was as if I was stepping into the past.  I hadn’t been to this store in years and the memories flooded.  I pictured my late husband returning to this store week after week before he proposed to find a flawless, perfect diamond.  I recalled the stories of the people there trying to convince him the ring he was considering was perhaps not the best choice since it wasn’t a typical engagement ring (it was the perfect choice for me – Jim was right).  I looked around at the style of the store, the fanciness of the décor, the dress of the people who worked there and it was so my late husband.  It made me smile, and, of course, it made me sad at the same time.

After Jim died, I continued to wear my engagement ring on my left hand for a long time.  Then I decided to not wear it for an even longer time.  Recently I have decided I want to wear it again, but this time on my right hand instead (and thus the need to get it resized at the fancy jewelry store).  I am excited to get my ring back and to wear it again.  Jim did an excellent job selecting a ring he knew I would love and it will always remind me of him.  Wearing it again will be lovely.  The gloom of the past many years is trying to give way to a sunshine upsurge. 

As my life continues to change and morph into the new normal it is, I know I will continue to have periods of misty, damp times.  The new year reminds us of this.  The new year always brings this chasm – excitement for what is ahead, the possibilities and also the tension that comes from expectations not being met or conditions not being what you want them to be at the moment.  Patience is definitely needed as I wait for the sunshine to penetrate through the mist.  This past year has been sad and frustrating at times but also very wonderful in so many ways.  The promise of the future and the new year is great however and I know my sunshine is on the horizon.  


11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James Gambill on January 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Well done, Erica. I can imagine that store and can see Jim in there, carefully considering the choices and thinking of you. Sadness and hope, I feel them now too, for reasons past and current. Happy New Year.


  2. Posted by Crystal Pennington on January 4, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Beautifully written as always. Thank you for sharing Erica.


  3. Posted by Mary Busch on January 4, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Oh Erica . . . such beautiful sentiments and beautiful memories. I think about you and the children so often. Looks like and sounds like (“Thank you FB!”) they are doing well. Bless you honey. Love.


  4. Posted by Christine (Eales) Hoyle on January 5, 2017 at 1:00 am

    “The promise of the future and the new year is great however and I know my sunshine is on the horizon.” So true, so true. xoxoxo


  5. Posted by Jillian on January 5, 2017 at 5:41 am

    As usual a poignant piece to mark the passage of time in a difficult journey.
    I will get in touch in the next week as I have something to share with you.


  6. Posted by Kevin on January 6, 2017 at 4:29 am

    It sure is a great ring, and I look forward to seeing it on you again. I love the perspective and comparing the weather and new year to life.


  7. You are an absolutely beautiful writer and have an incredible perspective on life. Last week, I came across some audio recordings from last summer in BIO 181, and I could not help but smile. You were such a blessing to my mom and I and you had a truly significant impact on my life, even in such a short time. Miss you, love you, and hope you and yours are doing well.. 🙂

    Cassidy Celeste


    • Cassidy,
      Thank you so much! As I am getting ready to teach BIO again this summer I have fond memories of last summer’s class. I hope you are doing well and if you are on campus this summer you will have to stop by and say hi in person 🙂


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