Sometimes I wonder if Andy and I were always meant to be together. When he talks about life in his early 20's, a time when he was running a pub in Lincoln with hopes and dreams of working his way up to one day actually owning his own pub, whilst discovering he had a baby on the way with his then partner, I often smile and think that we really were worlds apart. While he was already living quite an experienced and adult life in England, I was still only a teenager living in Nova Scotia, trying to figure out what courses to take for my last year in school, babysitting for my family and the multitude of neighbourhood kids. Oh, and of course I can't forget partying whenever I could (which probably contributed to my choosing the the incorrect courses - I should have taken general math but that is a whole other story for another day... or perhaps not, let's just say math and I were not friends and leave it at that.)
So... let me get back on track: I never would have thought our two worlds would collide and nearly 10 years on, that I would be here in England, married to this man who had such a different life than me.
Andy and I met in January of 2002 and became friends first before realizing we had a real attraction for each other. The story of how we got together isn't an easy one. I don't think either one of us was looking for the great love of our lives. I know I sure wasn't - I had just finished a long-term relationship and the thought of entering another was not top of my list of priorities. Andy's timing certainly wasn't the greatest either but I guess fate had other ideas. By that August we were both heavily immersed with each other and neither one of us was looking forward to the day in September when his contract was due to finish. Andy took me out one day in late summer and bought me a beautiful sapphire ring. It wasn't hugely expensive but he wanted to leave me with something that proved how much he cared about me and the time we had spent together. I accepted the ring (rightly or wrongly) and told him that if he made the decision to never come back I would understand - long distance is hard, especially when there are children involved. A few weeks later he rang me to tell me he wasn't ready to let it end and that he would be coming to see me as soon as possible. I cried with a multitude of joy and fear for what the future would bring.
A few months later I was working out at the gym downtown and upon getting home (1/2 hour away) I discovered I had left my ring on a machine at the gym. I was mortified at this and rang the gym immediately with absolutely no luck; it hadn't been turned in. After talking to my friend who'd been working out with me, we decided to take a drive back in and look for it ourselves, just in case (without much hope.) Andy happened to call just before I left the house and I was in such a state he'd thought someone had died. He laughed when I was able to relay what had happened and commented that it was just a ring, he could always get me another. That wasn't the point. I wanted my ring... it meant too much to just dismiss.
My friend and I got into the city and practically ran through the shopping centre to the gym where the smiling girl behind the reception desk put me out of my misery straight away by producing the ring. Someone had turned it in earlier, however she hadn't looked in the right place when I had called. She'd found it when we were on the way in. I could have kissed her through my tears of disbelief.
I still wear my sapphire on the ring finger of my left hand. Although we were married two years later, I hardly ever wear my wedding ring as both of them together give me a rash. I could wear it on my other hand but it's always been on my left hand and so I chose to keep it there. My wedding ring is important to me, but the sapphire means so much more. My husband understands this completely and is ok with the fact that I chose to wear it over the wedding ring (which I do wear on vacations and special occasions). I love him for this... for the fact that he gets me and the reasons why I make some of the choices I do (well most of the time ;)
I have another possession that means the world to me, but one story is enough :)