Tonight I took my wedding ring off. Permanently.
I probably could have stopped wearing it when we separated. As far as I know, Adam hasn't been wearing his since I moved out. But I chose to continue wearing my ring because, well... I'm still technically married. Also, to me, taking off that ring is about more than just acknowledging and accepting the fact that my marriage is ending. It's about being able to say goodbye to what a wedding ring symbolizes -- the love, commitment and bond between two people. It's about being ready to go out into the world without having visual evidence that you're taken; ready to face any questions that may arise if someone happens to notice your bare finger. It's about making a change, parting ways with the comfortable and taking another step toward the future.
And (on a less emotional note) being the kind of girl who is never without her ring, except maybe during an occasional painting project with the kiddo or while quickly rubbing some lotion in, I knew that taking it off would leave me feeling a little naked.
But tonight something inside my head kept saying, "You should take this off. You're going to at some point anyway. This ring symbolizes something real... something that no longer exists."
And so, after showering and lotioning up, instead of slipping the little silver band back onto my finger like I've done for the past (almost) seven years, I took the ring into my bedroom and placed it gently in my jewelry box. I still love and respect all the things that a wedding ring is meant to symbolize, and for a long time my ring did represent all those things. It just... doesn't anymore. I'll always keep it as a token of what Adam and I shared, the love that he and I were unable to hold onto but will live forever in our daughter. And who knows, maybe one day Morgan will want the ring for herself. Part of me kind of hopes she will.
As I turned off the light and walked out of my bedroom, I paused for a moment to let the reality of what I'd just done sink in. And in that moment I realized how peaceful I feel about this decision. It's a big step for me. Huge, really. It feels more significant to me than moving out of the house was, or even sitting in my attorney's office and telling him I'd like to file for divorce. But I'm ready to take this step. Ready to face whatever comes next.
Even if my left hand is going to look a little bare from now on...