My Most Married Finger Print
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 16 November 2007 18:28
I may be a bit presumptuous but since Fr. Mike has asked for prayers before for his dear friend, Pat Armstrong, who has battled cancer for many years,I thought I'd do the same.

Fr. Mike e-mailed me the afternoon to say that Pat is not doing well. Your prayers for this valiant, funny, loving, Catholic woman and her beloved husband, Rich of 53 years would greatly appreciated.

To get a sense of Pat and her "Richie", go here.

Pat is a published poet and author and wrote this poem for her 52nd wedding anniversary - and since Fr. Mike has read it aloud in homilies, I don't think that I'm out of line in sharing it here. I must admit that I wept when I read it:

September 29, 2006

I, the wearer of little in the way
of jewelry, 'though the box
is full of pieces, all with histories
of givers and places and occasions
that mattered at the time.

Yet, I wear five rings on
my most married finger, farthest
out a Claddagh newly brought
from Ireland, worn, not for the giver
but for the memories
of where I'd choose to live out my days,
yet, not without you, my love,
giver of the next ring, another Claddagh,
with dark green stone always a reminder
of your feisty self, so annoyed
with the haughty sales clerk
were you that day in Galway.

A simple jade band is next
in line, exchanged after twenty-five years
when we feared that we would not
have another year together.
So close to the white gold band
that follows in this ring parade,
slipped on more than fifty-one years past
in a small church where we stood,
both in private thoughts
and public avowals.

Today, I celebrate the diamond,
the circlet closest to my physical heart,
the one that still beats daily, perhaps
because I have willed it to beat
since I cannot bear to leave you
until you promise to hold my hand
and come along for another ride.

As Pat wrote recently on ID:

"I am in countdown, I know. But as a lifelong writer and fan of inspirational words, I offer this passage from Edith Wharton's "A Backward Glance:" "In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways..." Amen.