The pendants are made out of the gold combined from Jim and my wedding rings, with two of the three emeralds he presented to me when he asked me to marry him. I still have one emerald, the earring that I gave to him when he lost the original when removing a dry suit on a river trip. I wear it now, but it is Jasper’s if he decides to someday pierce his ear. He states that piercing is not in his immediate future…like eating, sleep and running are. There is a bit of gold left, also. Something new could be made.
Anyone who spends any time on rivers will recognize the design element in the pendants. Johnson Jewelry did an excellent job of turning our ideas into art. Turn it sideways. The gold is the river; the bottom and the water. The Emerald is the rock, the curl is the wave formed by the interaction of the water and the rock. A river without rocks is just a sluice box. There are no obstacles, but there are also no fun waves to ride. A deeply submerged rock causes little turbulence. As the water level drops, the rock creates fun and beautiful waves, a little further and a sticky hole can form. Even more, and that rock pokes out, becomes an obstacle in the river to avoid. Jim died. His death is a rock in the river of our lives.
I wore my wedding ring and engagement emerald everyday. The were with me when rowing rivers, loading boats, dealing with sandy straps. I won’t be wearing the emerald pendant everyday. It is too fine a piece of jewelry to subject to the hazards of my current lifestyle. But, it will come out for dress up, or for a Josh Ritter concert, for special occasions. It makes me smile, for its beauty and for all it symbolizes. My grief for Jim will always be there, but it is changing as time goes on. It is not buried so deep that I don’t feel the turbulence, but neither is it an obstacle I choose to avoid. He is not the first thing I think about every morning anymore, and the loss does not occupy all my dreams and waking thoughts. Mostly now it fluctuates between the sweet wave of memories and life he left to me, and the sticky hole….that while uncomfortable, eventually spits me out the other side.
Life….like a river…flows on.