31 May 2011

Father of the Bride...to be

It's official, as if my previous post wasn't enough of a clue.  Our Lady of BYU and Awesome are engaged.  They were engaged a few nights ago during another epic midwestern evening thunderstorm.  Awesome found a good spot on the DuPage River that runs through our little downtown to make his proposal and the best part is that Our Lady was completely surprised.  She'd expected that he'd make the proposal once they got back to UT, but Awesome had other plans.  We were very honored that he did it while they were here.  It was sweet (yeah, don't hate, I said sweet) to see just how excited they are. 
This is the reenactment - the next day when it wasn't in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Her ring
I'm pleased to say the Our Lady and Awesome are off to a good start.  There is a lot to be done before the wedding, which is in about 90 days.  Nothing like a Mormon wedding timeline.  It's become readily apparent that my role in all of this is that of money changer and that is it.  I'm still trying to deal with my eviction from Denial Land so it's probably just as well that I'm not involved in a whole lot more.

I've noticed though that ever since the engagement was announced that almost uniformly, the response to me is something like this, "Ha!  Have you seen 'Father of the Bride'?  You are so that Dad!  You have to watch it.  We want to watch it with you!'  One of my employees said to me today, "Just don't go and dye your hair, like the dad in 'Father of the Bride'."  As I recall, and it's been a long, long time since I saw the movie, Steve Martin was more than a little freaked by his daughter's impending marriage.  I'm the first to admit that I'm a little freaked, but as I think about the time we spent with Awesome last week, I get a little less freaked.  I do not plan to buy a sports car, nor get my hair dyed before Our Lady's wedding.  I don't think we'll be hiring a wedding planner of murky ethnic descent either.  I am going to indulge all those that are saying watch the movie.  It'll be a good reminder of some of the things to come, I suppose.  Now to find the time to watch this:
I just read that tagline - "A comedy about letting go."  Maybe I won't watch it yet.  I'm not quite ready for that 'letting go' part.

29 May 2011

The big sit down with Awesome

In covering the inclement weather version of CAL's high school graduation, I neglected to mention that Awesome arrived earlier in the week with Our Lady of BYU.  As I was driving by ORD on my way home when they landed, it only made sense that I would pick them up. Pacing through baggage claim, I awaited their arrival.  I realized that shortly I would be evicted from Denial Land where I've been living since learning about Awesome.  I got a text from Our Lady saying, "Wheels down" (she is nothing if not her father's daughter) and it wasn't long before they walked past the Curtain of Fascism, staffed by the ever-inept TSA, and I met Awesome.  I knew from the second I saw the way Our Lady looked at him that this thing was a done deal.  A short time later, and by short, I mean nearly an hour because Mother United took nearly AN HOUR (the ineptitude of the baggage delivery at ORD is epic and worthy of another post, but I digress) to get their checked bags onto the belt and delivered, I watched Awesome out the corner of my eye as he watched my first-born walk away to throw something away.  The same thought went through my mind, 'Oh man, he's in love with her,' and that made me smile.  Then I thought it again, and it nearly made me cry.

It made me think of one of the last scenes in the movie "Moonstruck."  Say what you will about Cher (and believe me, there's plenty to say) and the crazy that is Nicholas Cage, that movie was an excellent chick flick.  Well-acted, sharp writing, and it made you feel good.  In the last few moments of the movie, Cher's character is asked by her mother, "Do you love him, Loretta?"  To which she says, "Yeah, ma.  I love him awful."  And the mother retorts, "That's too bad."  It's an awesome scene.  Makes me laugh every time I see it.  I looked at Awesome and Our Lady and knew they loved each other something awful.  The good news is that I didn't feel compelled to blurt out, "That's too bad."  Rather, I felt compelled to say, "Yeah, this is good."  But I didn't.

The day after the high school graduation shenanigans were over, it was apparent that Awesome was ready to have the big sit down discussion.  With me.  Of course, the discussion I refer to is the one that makes potential in-laws, both father and son, more than a little nervous.  It's safe to say that he and I were nervous as he pulled a chair up to my desk in my home office.  While I'm not going to provide a blow-by-blow recount, I can tell you that this young man has his head on right and has been raised well.  He's a reflection of good parents and family.  He's going to take care of my daughter.  There's a bit of a leap of faith involved in an event like this.  You do your best to make sure the questions you have for the young man who wants to marry your daughter will make that leap easier.  So, for Awesome and me, there was laughter (both of us), some man-tears (me), and a collective sigh of relief (both of us) after I said yes to his request for permission to marry my daughter.  You could see the burden lifted from his shoulders at the conclusion of our talk.  I have to give him props as well.  He promptly went upstairs and told Our Lady that I'd said they needed to wait a bit longer before I would say yes.  This bit of information was not well-received.  Nice prank, Awesome.  Well-done.

So, yes, Awesome is awesome. As we told Our Lady, he's a keeper.  Life's about to get a whole lot more interesting here in the Den.

26 May 2011

In a sea of 785, there was my girl - now with photos!

It's been three years since Our Lady of BYU graduated from high school and as a result, I'd forgotten just how crazy the week of graduation can be.  It's been nuts.  Although it's been crazy, last night we watched CAL take the stage and accept her diploma.

She was one of 785 graduates and it was tough to pick her out in the processional.  Of course, it didn't help that Mother Nature (a contemptible sheshrew, if there ever was one) was doing her level best to ruin the evening.  School officials decided to start the graduation, held outdoors, early as we had a storm bearing down us.  The winds blew the entire time and it was cold.  It's late May and it was cold.  What we are feeling is called winter, not spring.  But I digress...

They also decided to dispense with all the graduation speech shenanigans and just get to the meat of the matter - the graduates!  It was wonderful to hear CAL's name read and to see her accepting her diploma.  She had her white cords, in honor of her hours of service.  It was cool to see.  She truly stood out in that sea of 785 kids.  I felt that same wave of emotion as I saw her but I didn't cry.  Don't hate - if I had, the tears would have frozen to my face. 

CAL has made us very proud (calm down!  proud in a good way, not a destructive way).  I'm excited to see how she does at university.  It's going to be good.  Really good.  And she's going to do great things.

Photos courtesy of The Chief Pilot (father-in-law):

Thank you, Mother Nature, for making this an eventful evening.

22 May 2011

Meeting Awesome

While I've got a few minutes of quiet this Sunday afternoon, I figured it was a good time to get some thoughts down about the week ahead.  Lots going on.

Today has already brought Church, where I had to lead the third hour combined adult meeting.  We are challenging our ward to create 100 profiles here.  So we tried to harness the power of technology as best we could around an extremely tempermental wireless signal to create a cool presentation.  You can only do so much in a building that is 900 years old and was never built for a day beyond rotary phones, let alone wireless signals.  But after more than a few prayers and a couple of colorful words (in the style of J. Golden Kimball, and ALL in my head), it worked.  So as a Bishopric, we got the challenge out there and we're hopeful our ward family will participate.

We have two graduations this week, both for CAL.  One is Seminary graduation tonight and then her high school graduation on Wednesday.  Seminary is a four-year, early morning (6AM start) religious education program and CAL has completed it.  She will also, as noted, graduate from high school.  It's been a rigorous four years and we're really proud of her.  It will be emotional to see her cross the stage Wednesday and accept her diploma.  She'll soon be off to BYU-Idaho for university and the next phase of her life.  She's ready to go.  It's hard to let go.  It doesn't get any easier with the second one.

CAL's graduation will also bring a visit from my in-laws and it will be good to see them.  It also heralds the return of Our Lady of BYU.  This time she's not coming home alone.  No, this time she's got company.  A boy.  And, per her, he's awesome.  Yep, awesome.  Every time I ask her to tell me about this young man all she tells me is the following, "Dad, he's awesome."

Well, we've raised a smart girl and I'm sure he's awesome.  I'm looking forward to meeting him.  No, really I am.  It's just that this is new territory.  My daughters aren't fools and they are very particular when it comes to boys.  So when I get my oldest is announcing, "Dad, he's awesome," I know it's time to pay attention.

It's going to be an interesting week.

20 May 2011

"no man knoweth" - I think I'll stick with that

In case you've not been paying attention to the news - mostly the catty, essentially unbearable last five minutes of happy chat at the end of local newscasts - lately, you may have missed that the world is to come to an end Saturday, 21 May.  That's tomorrow. 

The person predicting the end, or the long-awaited rapture, has been off target before, having predicted this cataclysmic event once before in 1994.  These "end of times" predictions are nothing new.  The cry that "the end is near" has been around since about ten minutes after Adam and Eve got evicted in the first recorded landlord-tenant dispute.  And yet, we're still here.

To be sure, the world's a mess, but that being said, there's still an awesome amount of good and a lot of good work still to be done.  So I'm going to trust in what the Savior himself taught about the Second Coming, when he said: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father onlyI feel a lot more confident in that statement.

But, is it terrible to wonder if I can use the predicted rapture as a way of getting out of the Fathers/Sons overnighter tonight?

18 May 2011

...and great was the fall of it.

"...and great was the fall of it." is a reference from the New Testament, Matthew 7:27.  It's the last scripture in the parable of the wise and foolish men and their real estate choices.

The "great fall" aspect took on new meaning here last night when we had our own "great fall."  And it was epic.  It did not involve our old house falling down.  It involved CAL falling down.  Facefirst.  Hard.

Here's what happened:  our church youth group was honoring the graduating seniors and while CAL has not attended the youth group since she turned 18, she was invited to attend this event.  After some goofy stories about the seniors, it was time for games.  Twenty plus teenagers on an indoor basketball court playing "Criss Cross."  A recipe for disaster.  In the first round, four kids had to hop on one foot across the gym to their respective opposite corner without slamming into one another.  Unfortunately, there was no warning about not slamming into the ground.  This would have been useful information for CAL.  She was the first one out of the gate for her team.  She went out blazing, skillfully hopping on one foot.  She stumbled slightly and jumped right up, moving fast, and then, WHAM!, she went down.  Full face-plant.  No time to get her arms out to break her fall.  She broke her fall with her face.  There was even a little bounce to her head when she hit the floor.  At first, stunned silence and then laughter (I mean, you're going to get laughter with a bunch of teen-age boys hanging around.  You also get laughter from guilty-as-charged arrested adolescent dads - me).  CAL got right up and looked a little dazed but still made it to her corner.  Suffice to say, she didn't win.

By the time I got to her corner, I could see her lip was already swelling.  The moms assembled were quick to take action.  Ice to the lip, which, as it turns out, she pretty much bit all the way through.  And then it looks like her nose got broken again.  A full Marcia Brady "oh my nose" moment:
So it was time for a remorseful dad (I really did feel bad for laughing) to take his wounded daughter home.  The stunningly patient and mighty fine SML is far better equipped to handle medical drama/trauma and handle it she did.  It was decided to not make a trip to the ER.  Lots of ice and pain relievers.

CAL's in pretty decent shape this morning.  She refused to go to school, understandably.  I'm not going to fight her on this one.  The delicate female psyche is not to be trifled with when you've used a hardwood basketball floor as a full-stop braking device.  The good news is that her humor is certainly in good shape.  She laughed when she got this text from one of the boys who witnessed the event:  "Hope you had a nice trip.  See you next fall."  I've now got to concentrate on recovering from my "Bad Dad" laughing reaction.  I suppose it's the way we (men) cope when something like this happens.  I really did, and still do, feel badly about this.  You never want to see your child, no matter how old he/she is, hurting.

16 May 2011

Time. It's still standing still.

In spite of what has been a very busy month already, time is still standing still for me.  I know why.  I alluded to it in a post a couple of days ago.  My family is growing up and frankly, I want it to stop.  Not permanently, but just for a little while.  Frankly, I want it to stop for selfish reasons.

I'm most mindful of my daughters right now.  Both are at milestones in their young lives and I want to make sure that the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I have done all we could do to ready them for the big, bad world.  I think we have but I would like to stop time for a few minutes to do a reality check.  I'd like to make sure we've prepared them as best we can for what they are going to encounter as they move further into adulthood.  I think we have and I know we've tried to follow God's plan as we've raised the girls and The Boy.  That Gospel plan has served as an incredibly clear route map and insurance plan all these years and that is a source of tremendous comfort.

While I am comforted by that, I still wish I could stop time for awhile.  I'm sure I'll get over this when Our Lady of BYU comes home for a few days next week.  I mean, I have to.  I've got to let my girls go.  Time isn't going to stand still, no matter what I think or want.

But, they need to know this (courtesy of the great Paul Simon):
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

14 May 2011

Tears were shed...and that's OK

It has long been debated that a man crying was a sure sign of wussiness (is that even a word?).  As we all know, "there's no crying in baseball."  If you can't name the actor who said that, I again worry that you might have been raised by wolves.  That line certainly made any public display of emotion by a man subject to even more mockery.  Bush 43 was slammed by the media for the times he shed tears, especially as he met with those that were affected by the horrific events of 9/11.  I would argue that those slams on Bush were unwarranted (the other slams, well, those were more than warranted).

I've come to realize that it's perfectly fine for a man to cry.  I'm not a cryer.  I still don't deal particularly well with lots of crying.  Ask my daughters.  Emotional, hormonal weeping jags didn't fly in our house.  But I've come to appreciate the value of what's expressed through tears.  It's an honest, spontaneous expression of one's feelings. 

It's the spontaneity of the emotion of crying and tears that I struggle with the most.  As an example, last night as I was driving here for a session, I had my iPod on shuffle and a song from one of the kids' EFY cd's came on.  Within about three seconds, tears were streaming down my face.  As I listened to the song, the tears continued to flow and here's the thing, it felt good.  And as soon as the song was over, so was the show of emotion.  I recognize it was a reaction to the spirit of the music and the lyrics.  It was all good.

It got me thinking about some other crying jags I've experienced.  Oddly, more than a few have occurred while flying.  Watching the hideous in-flight movies that I would never watch while on the ground.  I've cried at some ridiculous movies while crossing the Atlantic or the Pacific.  My most epic meltdown was watching this:
Weeping, I'm serious.  Weeping.
And the most ridiculous part is that it was the preview...the PREVIEW...that had me gutted.  The stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I were seated in the First Class section of a Delta (don't tell Mother United!) 757, flying back to PHX after a weekend in New York City.  We'd just taken off and we were perusing the lunch menu when the creeky video monitor fired up.  I threw on my headset so I could hear and looked up to see the start of the preview of that day's in-flight entertainment - Mr. Holland's Opus.  Now, we'd seen it when it was in the theatre and thought it was fine.  No emotion watching it.  However, at 35,000 feet, as soon as I heard the first notes of the 'opus,' I started to cry.  And not just cry, but borderline heaving sobbing.  The stunningly patient and mighty fine SML looked at me as if my head had exploded.  In the middle of this unfettered display of near hysteria, the lead flight attendant came to our row to get our lunch order.  The look on her face when she saw this weeping tool in 4B was pretty priceless.  She was smart enough to say, "I'll just come back in a minute." 

And it was over in a minute.  Preview ended and I was able to pull it together.  I was then able to watch the movie without a single tear shed.  Bizarre.  Bizarre but good.  I'm OK with the occasional crying jag.  I'm not going to forced to turn in my man card because of a few falling tears but this much I know, I'm a lot more selective about what I watch while in-flight.

11 May 2011

9 1/2 Hours

9 and 1/2 hours of this today:
9 and 1/2 hours on one single conference call.  A conference call/webcast that started at 3AM my time and ended at 12:30PM!  I lost the will to live somewhere around 830AM.  It was something else.  There just are no words, really.

One upside and so far, it's the only upside from today's 'event' - I found out that our couch in the basement actually makes for a comfortable bed.  I chose to sleep downstairs rather than risking having my alarm wake the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML at 245AM.  Probably not the best time to test the boundaries of her stunning patience.  Score one for being considerate.

My will to do anything else at this point today is gone.  I had high hopes of getting in a run but my legs feel like they are filled with cement.  I won't get to the corner.  I know it.  I'm done.

10 May 2011

Time Stands Still

That great and mighty 1980's sage and philosopher, Ferris Bueller, once intoned, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  Wise words from the great Ferris. 

I've been thinking more than a little about those words of wisdom (not to be confused with those other words of wisdom found here) as I look at what's happening in my family.  There's much going on but it feels like time is standing still as I watch it all happen.

CAL is on the edge of graduating from high school.  I'm sorry but wasn't she just making me a bookmark with gobs of Elmer's glue in kindergarten?  Her "Congratulations, Graduate" sign (yet another 'We have to get it!' part of graduation, adding to the full-frontal assault on my wallet that is high school) was posted in the front yard last night.  The stunningly patient and mighty fine SML saw it and wept.  I, on the other hand, was like "YES!"  It's the same way I felt several years ago when Our Lady of BYU was just a couple of weeks away from graduation.  However, I also cried like a little girl the night of her graduation, after all my bravado about declaring myself more than ready to see her head off to school.  Methinks the same thing will happen in two weeks when CAL walks onto the field (assuming Mother Nature behaves and doesn't force graduation indoors) in her graduation finery. 

The Boy is wrapping up a very good freshmen year.  He's had a great time playing school volleyball and he's made Student Government for the second year in a row.  He's just a few months shy of, in theory, getting his drivers' license.  That should be fun, particularly for my insurance company.  I believe they are already planning on an all-company party the day the Boy gets added to my insurance.  That's going to hurt.  I look at him and think it was just yesterday that he was five years old and he and I flew to Philadelphia for his first X-Games?

Our Lady Of BYU is all kinds of happy right now.  She's enjoying a break from school and having an amazing time.  I talk to her and it feels like I need to make time stop.  She's really an adult.  She's making adult decisions.  And they are good and wise but I'm wishing  that I could somehow make time stand still.  Wasn't it just yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital?  No, only unless yesterday was more than twenty-one years ago.

Sure, I wish I could make time stand still.  Ferris is right...life moves pretty fast.  Really fast.  I'm just trying to synch how fast life is moving with my ability to catch up.  Or deal with it.  Yeah, good luck with that.  I know.

08 May 2011

On Mother's Day

REPORT FROM THE MINE FIELD:  After much strategic planning (OK, 'much strategic' may be a bit of a stretch as it was more like a couple of late-night emails earlier this week), chocolate was secured and distributed to the women of the congregation.  Human shields (AKA the Young Men of the ward) were used for the distribution.  At this point, blowback is non-existent.  While I'm not prepared to go all Bush 43 and declare "Mission Accomplished" a tad prematurely, I will say I think we dodged another bullet this Mother's Day as a bishopric.  Queue the "sigh o' relief." END MINE FIELD REPORT

It's been a good Mother's Day, from my perspective, at least.  My wife, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML, seems more than content and CAL, the Boy, and I have worked together well to put together a nice dinner.  And that mother of all Mothers, Mother Nature, who has been more than nasty to us this year, is in a fine mood today.  It is absolutely gorgeous outside - nearly 70! - and so that's made it an even better day.

It's also been a good day for reflection.  I am a very blessed man.  I am married to a woman who has stood by my side for nearly 23 years and has mothered our children into decent, good, kind people who are choosing to do good things.  My children are such a reflection of their mother.  She has embodied the divine nature of the calling of being a mother.  She is awesome.

I'm also blessed to have an amazing mother.  There's a unique bond between mothers and their sons and that bond is even stronger when you are the first-born child.  I enjoy that unique bond with my Mom.  Always have.  It's been very interesting to see how our relationship has changed since my Dad died.  She's had to face challenges that I'm sure she never thought would be hers.  It's been good to be a part of that with  her.  I don't think we go more than two days without talking.  I cherish those opportunities.  She's amazing.

As I've reflected on Mother's Day, I've thought, too, of the other mother to whom I say 'thank you' today.  I thank a woman who I don’t know, someone who gave me a remarkable gift.  Nearly 45 years ago, a young woman whose circumstances at the time are  unknown to me to this day, decided that giving up her baby for adoption was the best course of action for that soon-to-be born child.  When he was born and placed in the arms of a couple who had waited for more than eight years for a child, lives were changed forever.  That baby was placed in a home of parents who loved the Savior with all their hearts, and who lived the Gospel to its fullest.  That baby was me.  I was given the gift of an eternal family by that young woman and I thank her today.  I don't know who she is, nor do I need to, but I do say thank you. 

07 May 2011


I was going through some past posts this afternoon and discovered that this same weekend (read it here) last year, Mother's Day Weekend, I had the same bout of PBS (see yesterday's post) that I am grappling with right now.  Completely weirded me out.  It's a little eerie.

I'm no Mr. Science - one needs only look at my "D" in physical science my freshman year at the Y to know that (in my defense, part of the problem there was that I was taking the hideous version of that class where you met once a week for like three hours and I had a car and my buddies didn't.  Very often, my car was needed for important things, like trips to Park City) -  but can it be that our bodies are on some kind of weird rhythm?  I mean, we often say a when a cold comes on at the same time every year, "Yeah, it's like clockwork.  I know when it's coming."  But this is just strange.  Every symptom is the same.  Every ridiculous crack of my voice is the same.  And like last year, I think I'm conducting in Church tomorrow.  Boy, that'll be fun!

06 May 2011

"When It's Time to Change..." Again.

About every six months or so, I am affected by what I like to call 'Peter Brady Syndrome' (PBS).  This syndrome quite literally grabs me by the throat and makes me sound like I'm either in the middle of some kind of horrific age-regression experiment or I've gotten mixed up in some kind of weird steroid/testosterone/estrogen drug cocktail club.  The bottom line is that I sound ridiculous and sick.  I'm neither, although I'll admit it, I really do sound ridiculous.

So, I kind of think whatever this is that I have is allergy-related.  I feel fine.  If I track back the times I've been afflicted by PBS, it seems that it's typically around when we're coming out of an ugly winter or going into yet another long one.  Twice a year.  Love that about the Midwest.  Love. It.  Not really.

In honor of PBS, I'll give you a sense of what I sound like.  It promises to be a delight, and by delight I mean tragedy, for both your eyes and ears.

Is it just me or is any else completely creeped out by the fact that the Brady kids were teaching a lesson in the delights of puberty?  This isn't sitting well.

04 May 2011

The Mother's Day Mine Field

This Sunday is, in my estimation, the Sunday that strikes the most fear into a Bishopric.  It's Mother's Day.  Why not just call it what it is - Mine Field Sunday.  The reasons for it are myriad.  This will be our third Mother's Day Sunday as a Bishopric and I'd like to think we've learned to navigate the most dangerous aspects of the day.  For example:
  • No sisters having to prepare talks for our principal worship service, Sacrament Meeting, making it a little less fretful for a couple sisters
  • Those that are speaking have been given some very good guidance on what to talk about, but not from me...
  • Encouraging the men of our ward, or congregation, to make good on promises to make the day about the women in their lives
  • We've canceled most of our administrative meetings so we can be with our own families
However, we still haven't conquered one of the biggest of the land mines - what to give the women of the ward.  This has been a source of, well, consternation.  Our budget is slim so we can't get nice flowers.  And the reality is that they don't survive the three-hour block.  They look like this as soon as they are handed off to the women:
They look like this if a child doesn't snap it in half first
We thought about baking something and realized that would go horribly wrong.  So when we queried our Relief Society (the womens' organization) about what we should do, she said we really didn't have to do anything.  I literally let out a whoop of joy at that pronouncement.  What I didn't realize is that "really" was code for: "You don't have to but you're in for a world of hurt if you don't."

So it's Wednesday night and we're trying to get it figured out.  We'll get it done. And I figure the blowback won't be too bad.  At least that's what I'm hoping.

02 May 2011

Something's (temporarily) Missing

Take a look, if you will, at this photo and tell me what's missing:
If it's not a dead giveaway, I can only assume you were looking for Waldo...
A certain piece of gold that has encircled my ring finger for more than twenty-two years.  Let me quash any and all hints of scandal or conspiracy (frankly, I think the conspiracy theorists are far too consumed with the bin Laden shenanigans at this point) to say that the ring is going back on shortly.  It was removed out of necessity for yet another medical procedure I had today.

I had a CT scan this afternoon and needed to part with any metal in advance of that fiesta (which aside from the freaky, freaky dye injection wasn't bad at all).  So I slipped off my wedding ring this morning as I showered because it is much easier to remove when wet.  Because I am no longer tipping the scales at 155 lbs. as I was the day I married the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML, prying off the ring takes some effort.  Not "Jaws of Life" effort, but enough.  I'm just saying.

Being without my ring has caused me to reflect on its significance.  Throughout the day, I found myself glancing down at my ring-less finger and could not help feeling as if I was totally exposed.  I don't think I've removed this ring since I got it.  It's not because I'm terrified of losing something of significant monetary value.  By the world's standard, that little piece of yellow gold isn't worth a great deal (although with gold trading at nearly $1,500 an ounce...).  To me, its value is in its symbolism and that is priceless.  That ring of gold symbolizes a never-ending circle and is a reflection of the never-ending, eternal bond that unites my wife and I forever.  For me, it serves as a constant reminder of my commitment to her and the covenants we've made.  I suppose it's a bit of a truth-sayer too.  The ring itself doesn't have any powers, like one of those boss Wonder Twins rings ("Activate!").

Can you imagine if our wedding rings had those kind of powers?  I mean, imagine if you were having one of those discussions where your points of view are polar opposite and bridging gap is going to take some serious work.  What if you could just tap your rings and say something akin to "Activate!" and whammo! your problems are solved.  But then, what fun would that be.  Some of the greatest growth I've experienced as a man and as a husband has occurred from those moments where we've had to work together to work something out.

So, I'll be glad to slip that yellow band of gold back on my ring finger tonight.  I know plenty of people, men and women alike, that do just fine without wearing a wedding ring.  Me, not so much.  I need mine.  I love what it symbolizes.  I like the comfort it brings me.  And I really like that it proclaims that I'm married to the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML.