When my husband and I were first married, we lived in the northwest part of the United States, where he played on the ward softball team. In one of those games, his wedding ring spun off his hand into the dirt, and he couldn’t find it again. I had bought the ring for him, and I got mad at him about that mishap, even though it was only an accident. I was the one working at the time, while he was a student and “I” bought him another ring, with money “I” earned, then I kept feeling snippy. Every now and then I would remind him about it in not-especially-kind ways.
Fast forward a few years, and we were traveling from our home to Northern California, with a baby on board. Our son filled his (cloth) diaper just before we pulled into a wayside gas station. I took my rings off to rinse out the diaper, and then I forgot them, leaving them on the back of a toilet tank is some obscure Oregon town.
I didn’t realize I had lost the rings until later that night. I had a very humbling moment when I realized it, and told him. What he did was one of the many shining moments of our marriage. He managed to keep his face completely neutral, and then he helped me do what we could to get the rings back. They were long gone. And he didn’t say anything about the fact that my rings were more expensive, because they had a diamond. He bought me a modest band sometime soon, which was exactly fit with our financial circumstances at the time.
Fast forward again. A few years later, he had a career and we were living in comfortable financial circumstances. One quiet Sunday afternoon, when all our kids were napping, he asked me if I wanted a diamond ring. He didn’t even say “another” diamond ring. He asked it like it was a spontaneous idea with no history, and a cheerful gift thought. I decided I didn’t really want another one, because I imagined — when I looked at my left hand with NO diamond — I thought of the value of having a husband who forgives me.
And when he forgave me again for something else (an ongoing story, after 44 years), I imagined the immaterial gem of forgiveness growing in weight. It now outstrips the Hope Diamond.