Wednesday, August 1, 2012

With this ring



I wanted to address a question another widow asked me a few weeks ago about what I've done with my wedding rings since I've gotten remarried.

When Jeremy died, his ring went on the necklace he originally proposed to me with. I still wear it. I didn't take off my wedding rings til the day Steve proposed to me. I couldn't - they meant too much to me and I never felt 'single.' Maybe that sounds weird, especially after I started dating again, but I will always wear the title as Jeremy's wife. I'm very proud of it. Steve never felt threatened by that, and he knew it was very special to me.

Now I am still very much attached to these rings. When Steve gave me a beautiful new ring, I put my rings from Jeremy on my necklace along with his. This is where they all currently live. Steve was very gracious about this sensitive subject and offered to let me do whatever I wanted with the rings: keep them as is, combine them with something he would give me, or get a new ring. I chose to get a new ring that symbolized our relationship and because I knew that one day, my ring would be something special to pass down to my daughter.

I would be interested to know what other widow(er)s have done with their wedding rings. I often find myself worrying about losing my rings now and I honestly think I would lose it if that happened, so I wonder if I'll need to put them away someday soon. I know there are a lot of options and I know eventually, I'll have to decide on one.

49 comments:

  1. My husband passed away 2 years ago and I just recently put our wedding rings away. I am involved in another relationship now but he had no issue with me keeping the rings on a chain around my neck. I was trying to think of something special I could do with them now that I have taken them off. The only reason I took them off is because I felt the time was right but I don't want to just put them away and never look at them again....any ideas?

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  2. I wanted to do something to still honor my husband, but be open to a new relationship and not scare others off. So at first, I decided to take my wedding ring off and save it for one of my daughter's if the want it the other can have their dads. I would wear a ring with his birthstone in it and later I changed it to a family ring with all of our stones. So I still feel like I am honoring the life we shared, but also being respectful to the person who might become part of my future.

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  3. My husband passed away almost a year ago. I removed my rings (which I didn't wear consistently anyway) the day he died. It just didn't feel right to me. Not wearing them didn't feel right either. So - I took my rings and a ring I had gotten from his mother - removed the stones and had a new ring made. It is a beautiful band that I wear on my right hand. It is not a wedding band - but just a really pretty ring. I wear it almost everyday in his and our memory.

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  4. Good Question.
    I wore both my 25th anniversary and wedding band for one year. It seemed symbolic. When we married we were so young we only had plain bands. My husband later gave me a diamond and then later at our thirtieth. Turned both that ring and my wedding band to platinum ( his reason being it was strong like our marriage) then added diamonds to my wedding band.
    After he died, I felt strange wearing my wedding band. I felt sad whenever someone mentioned something implying a "husband not present".
    So I took my 25th anniversary ring to a friend and jeweller and said "help me redesign this ring". I did not want to put it in a box somewhere.

    So we did. He made the large diamond the centre of my new ring (this represents my years and love with him) then we added small diamonds all around it (this represents the rest of my life) finally we added three small bands of diamonds on each side coming from the centre (representing our three children) I wear it on my left hand 0 second finger. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of those three things. I put his two rings in my safety deposit box for my son (when I pass) my wedding band is for my daughter. The small diamonds alongside my original 25th anniversary ring will be for a new ring for my youngest when she marries. I still wear the ring my husband gave me on my 50th birthday on my right hand.
    I think we all have to find what works for us. But i agree - do something where you won't lose it because that would be very sad.

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  5. I took the stones and made stud earrings that I wear 24/7. The center stone went into a necklace. I don't wear any rings now, just on occasion, because I read some where that when men see any ring on a woman's fingers they will think she is attached! LOL

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  6. My husband passed away 7 months ago so they are still on my finger. I would eventually like to give my diamond to one of my two sons for their future bride. The wedding band I am thinking of making into a family ring that will have our birth dates along with our four children. I want to keep the inscription "forever" intact. He made fun of me when he got it done because I got a whole sentence on his ring but all he could fit on mine was forever. I love it anyway.

    Yvette

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  7. I too took my rings off the day TJ died. He was dead and I was no longer married. I am very black & white like that. I still have them in my jewelry box and someday will use the stones in something else. With his wedding band I want to have it cut in half made into earrings.

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  8. I took mine off after the funeral. They were in the basement in a velvet bag with her ashes but since the burial a couple months ago that little bag is on my dresser.

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  9. My husband passed away 10 months ago and I wore my wedding ring as usual until about the 6th month..i wanted to still honor him and our 32 yrs of marriage so I had it resized to fit my right hand and I wear it there. I wear his wedding band on my left hand index finger for now, but my son will get it when he marries.

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  10. I took my rings off about 6 weeks after my husband died. They felt foreign to me, and I no longer felt married. It was an emotional day when I finally decided no longer to wear them. What I did however, was have my wedding band and my husband's, soldered together like two olympic rings. They are both free moving, but can not be separated. In the future if our kids want to use them for something, to melt down into their wedding bands, ,then they are free to do so. Right now they just sit in a pouch in my safe.

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  11. I removed my ring when I received his remains. His urn is a "Keepsake Box", when you open the box there is a little removable shelf to save special tokens of your loved one. In it there is a poem he wrote about me that I found in his bible a hours before he died, a letter I wrote to him after he died, his favorite wrist watch, a crucifix, a prayer card from his service, and our rings. His remains are below the shelf.

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  12. My husband passed away June of 2011. I wore his wedding ring on a necklace for months. A month after he passed, I put my wedding ring on the necklace with his. I felt they belonged together. I felt I was not married any longer. I felt like I was wearing them only to honor him and not because it was what I was comfortable with. I wore our wedding rings for about 5 months and then they became who I was and I didn't like that. It made me feel like I was carrying the weight of his death. I took them off and often carried them in my pocket. I have since started dating and just last week I placed them in a safety deposit box at the bank along with other things I would prefer to keep in a safe place. Our boys are little and when they are grown, their Dads ring is something I would eventually pass on.

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  13. My husband passed away over 5 years ago...he was buried with his wedding band. I keep my rings in my safe deposit box while I decide what I want to do with them. Thinking about making another ring someday. Just not ready to do it yet. In due time I guess.

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  14. I put my wedding band on a silver ring holder made by red envelope. It is an elephant. It sits on a shelf in a curio by my bed.

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  15. I wore my wedding rings for a year after losing my husband (I'm 19 months out now). I have them in my jewelry box. My daughter would like to have them when she gets married, so that's the plan. I'm not even sure where my husband's ring is. He was a working man and he couldn't wear his rings for most of the stuff he did. Guess I'll have to look for them some day.

    I didn't want to replace my wedding rings, but I couldn't imagine not wearing something on my left hand after 30 years. So I went to a local jewelry store and just looked around. I found 2 rings that spoke to me. One is a purple butterfly. Totally silly, but it felt like that was me coming out of the coccoon I was in for the year he was sick and the year since he had passed. The other ring has 3 small blue saphire stones. I wanted 3 of something to signify my past, my present and my future. It's a simple ring, but it's very significant to me. I feel like I'm still honoring Andy, living in the present and looking to the future. I wasn't ready to date yet then but I just couldn't imagine wearing the rings that honor my marriage to Andy while holding another man's hand, so my wedding rings had to come off. Plus, I felt like wearing the rings was a lie. I wasn't married anymore. But I really like the thought that I put into the new rings. I think it just has to be something that fits you and your new life.

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  16. When my husband died in 2000, like many widows, I wore his ring on a chain around my neck for several months. I continued to wear my wedding band and engagement ring on my left hand. I tried to take it off while in Fort Worth, Texas on a training trip, thinking I might meet someone on the dance floor at Billy Bob's. But the bare ring finger just didn't feel right. When I went in the bathroom to put the rings back on, I frantically dug through my purse thinking I had lost them. When I discovered them at the bottom of my purse, crying I slipped them back on my finger. I realized, I wasn't ready to meet someone new.

    Eventually, I had his band sized down and wore it on my right hand in memory of him, and sized my bands to fit my pinky finger. I wore them for a couple years when I was on my own. In 2007, I remarried a great guy I met on Match.com. Now my rings from my first marriage are in my safe. Unable to have children, I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with my first rings. Every so often I take the rings out and think of the 28 years we spent together. Maybe someday I'll have them remade into a new memory piece. You can read more about my journey as a widow in my memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels. Available online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

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  17. I had my husband's ring and mine along w/ my engagement ring made into one ring with our birthstones added and I wore it for about a year. When I felt ready to take it off I did and it is in the little box the engagement ring came in sitting next to his urn in my bedroom. Every once in awhile I get it out and hold it. I have only put it on once since taking it off and I lost it. I will have it till I die.

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  18. I still wear mine, 2 years and 4 months out. I tried taking it off, but I felt like I was "breaking up" with him, so I left it there and replaced my engagement ring with a widow's ring. I'm not dating and have no plans to date anytime soon, so I'm not hurting anyone. I'll take them off someday if I find someone worth taking them off for.

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  19. My husband has been dead about four and a half years now. We were together for 26 years and married for 20. At about 8 months, I moved my wedding ring to my right hand and it has been there ever since with another plain thin gold band I bought when we had our tenth anniversary. I plan to wear the band there until my own death whenever it comes.
    I haven't been able to not wear a ring on my left hand since he died and I don't feel I should have to go without a ring on that finger even though I am no longer married. I wear a variety of different rings on that hand, sometimes a tri-color rolling ring, a ring with three oval sapphires and diamonds I bought myself for my 50th birthday, other times silver stacking rings. I am not too concerned with what men think...if they are interested they will strike up a conversation.
    The man I am seeing now doesn't care either way.

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  20. I wore my wedding rings on my left hand for about 3 years. I still felt married and I felt naked without them. I did have a friend suggest I start taking them off at night, to get use to the idea of not wearing them. That helped and I went a couple of days without them, but in the end decided I was still just more comfortable with them on. However, I did decide to move them to my right hand in January of this year. My husband had my engagement ring especially designed for me, and he was very proud of it, so I am not sure I am ready to have a new ring or other jewelry made from it yet. It just reminds me of him and his love for me so much. Baby steps.

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  21. I had my husbands wedding band sized to fit my right hand and had it engraved with 4ever in my <3 (we have 4 kids) and our anniversary date. I had my wedding band sized to fit my right hand and it is engraved with You are my heaven. I wear my band above my mothers ring (the one with our children's birthstones) and his below. Our children surrounded by the love and commitment of their parents......

    I am having the remaining gold from his band and my engagement ring made into an eternity pendant. His ashes will be on the back of it.

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  22. I wore my wedding and anniversary ring for 4 mths. Everytime I looked at my rings I cried, the love they both represented tore at my heart. Our marriage was 2 widowed people that fell in love, and was amazing. I had his ring made to fit my right hand and wear it always. My rings are in his sock drawer, and when I feel lonely I go and look at them and know the love we had. I wear the Mother's ring he designed for me, yours and mine, on my wedding finger.
    Jackie

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  23. I had no intention of stopping at our small town jewelry store one day when I was out running errands in my late husband's car but the next thing I knew I was parking in front. It occurred to me that should have the worn out ring guard in my wedding band replaced. (I had lost so much weight from the stress of his illness that it no longer fit properly.) When the jeweler looked at the set he said, “You realize your setting is shot?” I did not. He showed me that two of the prongs that held the diamond in place were very thin and needed to be rebuilt. He gave it a tap and the diamond bounced across the glass display case. It had only been three months since he died. I could have done the rebuild but something told me that it wasn’t the right investment. It just didn’t seem like the appropriate thing to do.

    I am now wearing our diamond over my heart in a simple setting that shows only its flawless beauty with no extravagance. It is not lost on me that my pear-shaped diamond resembles a solitary tear.

    Like the love we shared it is straightforward, honest, nearly perfect but not quite and simply beautiful.

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  24. I know I'm an exception here, but I also know it's OK and there are no rules. I am almost 3 years out, and I still wear my rings, I love them so much and I still can't bear to take them off. So, I'm OK with that. My husbands wedding band i wear either on a necklace or on a safety pin tucked in my bra (close to my heart).....I tried moving them to my right hand but need to have them resized but so far haven't done that. Not sure when and if I will....

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  25. I put my wife's wedding band on my pinky finger of my left hand next to my wedding band the day she passed and her 25th anniversary ring on my right pinky, i sometimes switch them from hand to hand as my weight increases or decreasse but always keep the wedding bands side by side.

    My Wife was my soulmate and i still somehow consider myself married (I know its a bit crazy)I dont think I will ever take my rings off, but who knows...

    On a personal note Vee I'm sure you've heard this many times but you are just so lucky to have someone like Steve

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  26. I'm at 20 months and I still feel married to the love of my life. Dead is not a word I use to describe him. He has passed from this life to the next. He died in my arms, the way I wanted to die in his. I took the cross he always wore off him and put it on myself. Less than a year later I was seriously hurt in a fall. They were able to get my ring off my broken and crushed hand, wrist and arm too. I wear the ring now with the cross. I doubt I will ever be able to wear a ring on my left hand again. If I could, I would still be wearing my ring. I am still very proud to have been his wife. I'm not looking to date because I've already had what I wanted in life. I' will see him again. He gives me signs that he is with me.

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  27. About a year after my husband dies, I had his platinum band resized to fit my left middle finger..set with my 3 diamonds in it that were passed down to me from my great grandmother. I will wear it forever, it reminds me of him daily.

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  28. I just passed 7 years. I continued to wear either my wedding rings or my 20th anniversary ring till about 5 years out. Due to the stress of widowhood I had gained about 50 pounds and they no longer were comfortable! Well through lots of hard work I have now lost 20 pounds and working on the rest! My wedding ring will soon be 30 years old and needs prog replacement. The anniversary band cracked. Thinking of a redesign to put back on my left hand! Will consider my self married forever!

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  29. My husband died 8 months ago and I still couldn't bear to have my finger naked. However about 1 month ago, I have replace my wedding band with a wider band that has an engraved sunshine on it. This ring gives me hope and reminds me that one day the sun will shine again. I now wear my wedding ring on my third finger next to the sunshine ring. One symbol for the solid, loving past, one for the unknown, shaky future.

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  30. I took my ring off a week after her funeral. I told my boys that I was going to. One didn't care the other told me he didn't like it. I told him I didn't like it either but I was going to do it. it's been a month now and my finger still aches for the ring. But my heart aches for her so I'm not really surprised. I put the ring in a dish on a shelf in the kitchen with her rings. It might just be my head playing with me but I can still see the ring mark on my hand. It makes me smile. We used to text pictures of our hands to each other, showing the ring. It was a wordless gesture that said everything we needed to say. It became especially important in the last year of her life when cancer was eating her a little bit at a time.

    David

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  31. I am still wearing my wedding ring. I've decided that when the number of days I'm widowed equals the number of days I was married I'll move my ring to my right hand. That day will occur this Sunday when I will have been widowed 106 days, the same number of days we were married.
    Susan

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  32. At christmas I will have been widowed 19 years. After a few months I moved my ring to my right hand, and it's still there, and will stay there.

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  33. My husband died almost 3 years ago and about six months after his death I took his wedding band and my wedding band and extra miscellaneous gold I had lying around to the jeweler to have weighed. With the proceeds I purchased a diamond heart pendant which I wear all the time. The heart is symbolic of our love of 38 years.

    I don't feel married any more either, and I didn't want my children to have to dispose of them. I checked with them and they thought this was a good idea. I still have my engagement and anniversary channel band in a safe, and they will go to my only daughter and my eldest daughter-in-law after my death.

    I still had my mother's wedding band with my Dad's name engraved in it, and I wear that on my right ring finger. Why? So that I don't look married, but still have a defense against unwanted attention. It works.

    I don't know that at 61 I will ever marry again. My husband was my soul-mate and consequently my standards are pretty high. It would take a very special man to change my mind. I just don't know if I dare invest so much in one person again, I'd be so afraid of losing him.

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    1. I was widowed the first time at 62 and felt the same way. But 3 years later I met a wonderful widower and we were married 9 years when he recently passed away. I would have been so lonely those 9 years and so would he. It was a sweet marriage.

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    2. Lost my husband at 60 yrs of age. I can't imagine starting a new relationship at this point in my life. 30 years with someone is a long time and hard to start over.

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  34. I wore my wedding rings for almost a year. I still felt like I was his wife.

    I love jewelry, so after a year I "treated" myself to a beautiful right-hand ring with my center diamond.
    On my left hand I wear a "cocktail" ring made from the other diamonds.

    I knew I was ready when the thought of re-setting them didn't break my heart.

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  35. As I sat in contemplation of this very question, fiddling with our two wedding bands, magically my ring slipped perfectly and snugly inside of his. A "perfect fit", he used to say we were a perfect fit...so this is now how I wear our rings. For now still on my left hand, I am 5 months in and not ready to change that.

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  36. I have been a widow for 5 months and I still cannot decide if I should wear my wedding band or not, I had not worn the wedding band for year as my fingers have become fat, along with the rest of me lol.
    Since his passing I have lost a lot of weight and the band fits me once again but the band only fits the little finger, so I was thinking is 5 months too little time to cease wearing my wedding ring?

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  37. I have just recently been widowed and I have decided to take my rings which I still wear and his wedding band and design a ring using the gold and stones from the three to make me a ring that I can always wear and it not be threatening to someone if I were to get into a new relationship way down the line. Just a thought.

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  38. These are my thoughts. My wife died suddenly 4 weeks ago. It would have been our 33rd anniversary recently. We married young and made vows to keep until "separated by death". I took my wedding ring off on our anniversary, and am trialling it on my right hand, little finger behind my wife's wedding ring which holds my ring in place. I gave my wife's engagement, eternity and mother's eternity ring to our three daughters. Best wishes.

    Steve

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  39. My husband died in June 2012. I wore a plain wedding band, my engagement ring with his birthstone in it, and an anniversary band with my birthstone in it. I wore them all for a month, took off the anniversary band the next month, the engagement ring a month later, and stopped wearing my wedding band a month later after our anniversary, when I finally got used to the idea that I was no longer married. I still wear the anniversary band once in a while on my right hand. I'm thinking about having the stones taken out of the engagement ring and having them made into something else (maybe earrings and a necklace, but I'm not sure). I don't have children, so I don't know what I'll do with our wedding bands.

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  40. I had our rings made into a beautiful necklace about 18 months after my husband passed away. I wear it most days, although not every day.It is a lovely remembrance and have no regrets doing this, except that it is kind of large. Our rings were nothing extravegent, but when you combine them together, it got to be a little bigger than I would have liked.

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  41. My husband passed away in April and he had had a beautiful new band made for me the Valentine's Day the year before. Just recently I stopped wearing the band on my left hand because I had done some masonry repair work on the limestone rock around our home and had taken it off for that task, only to have my hands swell up. Our 44th anniversary has also happened during this time and somehow, after over five months of being without him, it feels right to not put that band back on my left hand. Maybe on my right ring finger. There seems to not be a "right" time to stop wearing wedding rings, if ever. I think when the time is right.......you will know.

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  42. I just lost my husband of three years last month. I am still wearing my rings for time being but will be taking them off soon as I am planning a tattoo. I am heavily tattooed as was my Jesse, it was something we bonded over in the begining. I will be tattooing a Batman symbol on my left ring finger in place of my rings, he loved Batman. I am purchasing a memorial box to keep his ring along with mine and some other treasured keepsakes, that way it will stay safe and together. I think this is best way I can honor our love but still push through and move on.

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  43. My domestic partner and I were together for ten years before his unexpected death in 2003. We wore matching Celtic knot bands; I wore both rings for the first year after his death. I felt it honored our relationship while I healed.

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  44. I lost my husband in March last year, I do intend to keep wearing my wedding ring and plan on taking it off at the 1 year anniv of his death. I know he would want me to move on and "live on" for the both of us.

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    1. I lost my husband on April 22, not quite a month ago. I gave my engagement ring to his oldest daughter who is getting married in June. Like you, I plan to wear my wedding band for a year and then I will move it to my right hand. Michael wold want me to move on also. Thank you for your post.

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  45. I'm wearing my rings. Its only been 11 weeks since my husband of 20 years died. I've been wondering about having a ring made that combines his band and my 2 rings. But for now, I wear John's band on a chain and tuck it in by my heart.

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  46. It's been 6 months since my husband of nearly 30 years died. I started thinking about taking my rings off about a month ago, but could not get them off my fat finger. I got them off today. Still do not know what I will do with them, but they are off. I cleaned them and put them in my jewelry box. My finger is bruised and I have the indentation from wearing my rings for 30 years!!! Hopefully that too will pass with time.

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