Gilbert laughed and clasped tighter the girlish hand that wore his ring. Anne’s engagement ring was a circlet of pearls. She had refused to wear a diamond….
“But pearls are for tears, the old legend says,” Gilbert had objected.
“I am not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes….So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I’ll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy.” (from Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery)
Yesterday Jon and I celebrated seven years of marriage! When he asked me to be his wife, he gave me a delicate pearl engagement ring largely because of this quote. We visited Prince Edward Island for our first wedding anniversary six years ago because of the magic of the Anne books. And the continuing magic of the books is how much more I identify with them now than I did when I was a little girl in love with romance. When Anne and Gilbert move into their first home, I now remember how it felt to set up a home with Jon. When Anne celebrates the joys of pregnancy, I now know exactly how she feels because I have carried a sweet baby too. And when they bury their first child, I weep not just for the well-written tragedy, but for the baby I never got to bury. The one that I can still see in a still ultrasound blur if I close my eyes.
Like Anne and Gilbert, we have walked through both some great joys and some great sorrows already. We have such a road left to travel. Only seven years behind us and so many to come. I love my pearl ring more all the time and I love my husband more all the time because he accepts the sorrow of life with its joy right beside me.