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Through the Ringer

Posted Feb 03 2009 1:01am

By Lynn Haraldson-Bering

I wear two rings – a wedding band and mother’s ring – and I really put them through the ringer with all my weight gain and weight loss these last 10 years. Seems like they’ve spent more time at the jeweler’s than on my fingers.

It wasn’t just my waistline that expanded when I went from 190 in 1999 to 300 pounds in 2003. My feet grew from a size 8/8½ to a 9/9½ and my ring fingers went from a size 6 to a 7½  on one hand and 8 on the other.

In the case of my wedding ring, I refused to not wear it and so I had it sized up whenever it became a struggle to get it on and off, and sized down when it got too loose. Poor thing went to the jeweler at least seven times. As I lost weight, I tried using one of those springy sizer insert things, but I have really sensitive skin and it made me itch like crazy. Ergo, it got resized.

016 My mother’s ring was a different story. I’d always admired my mom’s mother’s ring – a lovely white gold band with each of her five children’s birthstones circling her finger. It was such a cool symbol of love and family. I mentioned to my own kids once in awhile that I’d like to have a mother’s ring, so when they and my husband gave me a lovely ring of two triangular stones – one aquamarine for March, one blue topaz for December – for Mother’s Day when I weighed about 200 pounds, I got all teary-eyed and mom on them. It meant the world to me.

They’d bought the standard showcase size 6 and it didn’t fit, so I had it sized to a 6½. It fit for 20 more pounds before it got too tight, and once I got it off (after using a goodly amount of Vaseline and soap suds), I put it in my jewelry box where it lived for eight years.

During that time, my kids often asked me whatever happened to my mother’s ring. I always felt bad telling them it was in my jewelry box. “It needs to be resized,” was my standard response. But I always forgot. Why this wasn’t a priority for me I don’t know. Maybe because I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but still, the jewelry I wear usually has some sentimental or emotional significance, like the thin chain bracelet I wear on my right wrist. When my youngest daughter gave it to me, I couldn’t clasp it because my wrists were too big. Now it dangles nicely and I wear it as a reminder of what was and could be again if I don’t stay mindful. So how could I let my mother’s ring, the thing I professed I wanted and cherished, sit lonely and unworn in my jewelry box?

Two weeks ago, I pulled my head out of my bum after one of my daughters asked once again, “So why don’t you wear your mother’s ring?” I finally brought it to the jeweler for one more resizing and I picked it up on Saturday. Now we’re getting reacquainted.

It feels strange on my finger and my typing’s a bit off, but I’ll get used to it. I’ll make sure I do. This ring and my wedding ring, like my body, have been through the ringer, and we’re all looking forward to same-sizedness for a long, long while.

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