If I Could Have ‘Do Overs’

Outlook September 2020 - Louise Tucker JonesLast month, I lost my late husband’s wedding band. A ring he had worn since the day I placed it on his finger in a little Army chapel 54 years ago. He was being deployed overseas for a year and half, and we were determined to get married before he left.

The ring symbolized both our marriage and our “forever love” for each other. It never came off his finger until a tragic Sunday morning in ICU when Carl took his last breath on earth and his first in heaven. It was then that I slipped his wedding ring from his finger onto mine and have worn it these nine years without him.

I have no idea when his ring slipped from my index finger. All I know is that I suddenly experienced loss all over again. The pain that ripped my heart open at his death suddenly returned with a vengeance. The grief wails that I never voiced for fear of upsetting my children now poured from my soul and my lips. I was plunged into new mourning, not just from losing Carl’s ring, but from missing my husband of 45 years.

In the years since Carl’s death, I have thought of hundreds of things I might do differently if I could have ‘Do Overs.’ I would always kiss goodbye, even for grocery shopping. I would tell him how much I respected him and thank him for fixing all sorts of things and for keeping gas in my car. 

I would cuddle more on the sofa, in spite of our kids teasing, and cherish each whispered sentiment. I would write more love notes, sing more songs, and dance more to our Golden Oldies. I would remind him what a wonderful father he was to our children and how glad I was that God chose him for my husband.

You see, I actually did all these things, but if I had ‘Do Overs,’ I would do them more often with more gratitude and joy in just being together. And if it were possible, I would love even deeper, hug harder, kiss longer and hold the memory of his laughter in my heart forever.

 

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