Jessica Ashley facebook twitter babble voices pinterest is a single mama in the city, super-savvy editor, writer, video host and shameless shoe whore.
read more »
Mama Needs New Shoes
Subscribe to Sassafrass by RSS or Email
Follow by RSS feed


Follow by email to have Sassafrass' blog updates delivered to your inbox:

Mama Likey

This area does not yet contain any content.
Search Sassafrass

Today, I took off my wedding rings

Just before I signed the Dissolution of Marriage papers several weeks ago, I paused for a moment with my pen hovering above the line with my name printed neatly below. I'd let them sit idle on the table next to my laptop where I was working for an hour or so while I processed what my pen and my heart was about to sign away. Then enough was enough and just once more, I read through each neatly numbered item -- the factual remains of a ten-year relationship that produced a son, few assets and more pain than my swollen heart could ever have dreamed -- and then dashed my handwriting across the page.

The fax machine buzzed productively and I felt the weight of the months and lies and betrayal and appalling behavior rise up out of me. I felt lighter. I felt a great sense of relief. The end was beginning and that was right.

While I waited for the papers to be served, my grrrlfriends and family tightened their circle around me. Molls and I agreed to plan a ritual, a blessing of the wedding tiara I hopefully passed on to her to wear in her own wedding next March but now felt tarnished. For me, we decided we'd make a ceremony out of removing my wedding rings, of offering the hope embedded in them up to the universe for greater things to come. In the weeks since, I've turned those rings around and around on my finger anxiously, sentimentally. As the sad weight has been subtracted from my body, the rings have fit more loosely and maybe that's why I've noticed their presence more than I did when they were shiny five years ago.

Maybe it was because the rings came to represent something unfelt, uncommitted, unattainable, untrue. Or at least almost all those things. Still, I held on to that ritual, to the vow to myself that I'd have a deep sense of knowing when the time arrived to slip them from the finger that traced to my heart.

You know, I've numbed. The grief of no longer being
loved or respected gave way to the grief of losing my own love and
respect. And then the numbness and rage made it all seem easier. I'd
been feeling the most pain of my life, and given motorcycles and death and near-death and birth and  desire and unrequited dreams and un-blogged trauma of the last twelve years, that is significant and palpable.

then today, the terms my attorney laid out in those signed and sent and
sent Dissolution papers were responded to -- and of course, countered
-- by the other attorney. I read through, breathed through and then
realized I was full of rage, I was infuriated, I was appalled.  Most of what I am fighting for in this divorce is for the best interest and well-being of Lil E. But this bit, this moment was about me and only me.

I knew then that it was time. I pulled the rings off of
my finger, rubbed the atrophied place where they've rested quietly.
Then, just as I was about to slip them back on, I realized that these
rings were choking me.

I walked into the room I am staying in at
my parents' house, dug through the box of jewelry I've toted over here
and found the little velvet navy blue box with the delicate gold clasp.
I opened it, inhaled and slid the rings into the fold. That little box,
once filled with such promise and nervous energy for a proposal on
Christmas Eve to the Widor's Toccata, can now have and hold my wedding

I loved those rings. I chose them myself and was
delighted that the diamond chosen for me nestled into the platinum
cathedral band with a hint of delicateness in a straight and perfect
line across my finger. Part of me hates to put them away. What I cannot
bear is the inscription, "My angel, my life" that feels like a
sentiment far to empty to wear on my body.

I'm no longer that
angel. This is no longer my life. So today, without ritual, without
ceremony, I took off my wedding rings. Here I am now, bare and brazen,
fingers outstretched, waiting to find exactly what is next for me to
wrap my hands around.

« Party of one | Main | Thursday shuffle »

Reader Comments (14)

I hope you can feel the vibes I'm sending you, it is to keep up the strength and to know that I admire your passion. You have handled each step of this with such grace. Hugs. K
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter2Jmama
I have been following your blog for a while now and wanted to say that you are in my thoughts....big hugs to you...
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
living life to its fullest -- filled with relief and resolve...that's what I hope and believe your hands will hold.

Sending love and hugs to you.
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercrazedparent
*hugs* I've been thinking about you lately. I'm sending much love, hugs, and cookies your way, girl.
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterIvy
Feel my arms wrapping around you.
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStefania/CityMama
That must have been exceptionally hard. Hugs to you, and wishes that it all soon gets easier.
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTC
again i am bawling. big hugs for you and e.
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterzoe
Today, I found my old wedding rings in a drawer. A drawer in my new house, in the new room that will soon be the nursery for my first child with my new husband. Then I put them away again. It was non-momentous.

Congratulations on freeing yourself. I hope that you are finding peace in your new life.
December 2, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercanape
I finally threw mine out after two years of holding on to it and the hopes that we could maintain some sort of friendship.I was so wrong.I through it into the Pacific Ocean, someone with a metal detector probably found it.My heart goes out to you and your boy. This is the first time I've read you. I'll be back to check in. In the hopes of finding you healing.
December 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEve
I remember watching my mom walk a similar path. I hope that this untethering will allow you to arrive at a place where dreams are attainable and the lows of pain are balanced with soaring joy.

Good luck to you and Lil E.
December 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteramanda
My divorce was finalized last Tuesday, but I stopped wearing my rings as soon as I told him it was over. Now, all 3 rings (2 of mine, 1 for him) sit in a small ceramic bowl by the front door, mixed in with paper clips and plastic Hello Kitty toys.

Instead, I've started wearing a ring that I bought myself when I was 19, but stopped wearing when I got engaged because it didn't "go" with the big old shiny diamond. It's just a silver, celtic ring, like you would find in the Signals catalog (which actually might be where I got it from!), but it makes me feel more like myself than I have felt in a very very long time.
December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDana
Despite all the pain that is evident in this post, it is beautifully written. This is my first time reading your blog as well, my heart goes out to you.
December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMary
I think Molls is awesome for going through that ceremony with you.

December 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjm
best of luck to you
January 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwedding rings

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>