Deep in the far away land of Mordor, stands Widow Mountain. Four hundred years ago a Hobbit traveled to this mountain and climbed to the top. There he found a volcano, and in the memory of his deceased wife, forged a widow ring. This ring, when worn, possesses great powers to the widow/widower.
Then, in a series of events - too long to explain and wouldn’t make sense if I did anyway - the ring found its way to Niles, Il, where a young man found the ring right after his wife passed away from breast cancer. He is, Lord of the Widow Ring.
So I posses this widow ring and I don’t know whether I should keep it or trek across to Widow Mountain and throw it back in the volcano, where there – and only there – it can be destroyed (for reasons too long to explain and wouldn’t make sense if I did anyway). The reason I hesitate to destroy my ring is, I can’t tell if this ring is a curse or my best friend. When I put it on, I can feel the power of being the widower. I can be at a family gathering and right in the middle of dinner, get up, knock over a lamp, take the last cookie on the cookie tray, walk out, and head off to the movies – leaving my children for someone to take home and put to bed. “He’s going through a lot. It’s good he went to a movie, he needs a break,” they would say, justifying my actions while they put my kids in their car to take to their home.
Without my widow ring, I would be at a store, knock over a lamp, cut in line at the register, and open a bag of candy without paying.
“How rude.” They would say and stare.
“That man has no manners.” They would whisper.
“Come with me please.” The police would say.
Can you see my dilemma? Without the ring, I have to act like everyone else. With the ring, I don’t always have to explain my actions; others would justify them for me. No brainer, keep the ring right? Wear it whenever I feel like making an excuse for my downfalls. Not to mention, this ring is really difficult to get. Married people can’t use them. You know why? Because married people have what they call “spouses” that renders the power of this ring useless. Example:
“What are you doing? Why aren’t you cutting the lawn?” the wife asks.
“I’m playing video games,” says husband. “I was going to cut the lawn but I am feeling emotionally down. I need this to gather my thoughts.”
“Get up and cut the lawn now.”
“Oh yeah, look what I have. A magic ring that allows me to do what I want and you will justify my actions.”
“It doesn’t work on you, you’re married. Get off your ass and cut the lawn.”
“Stupid Hobbit. I paid $100 for this thing.”
I never thought I would miss having my wife telling me how full of crap I am or when my actions were out of line, but I do. Losing a spouse is deeper than losing love. I needed her to keep me honest, to challenge and get the best out of me. If I keep this ring, I will keep looking to put it on when faced with difficult moments. If I destroy it, no more excuses. Life is tough, deal with it.
My concern is, if I do keep it, what will I look like in five years? Will I be one of those people who lives in a house - windows all boarded up - filled with small animals in cages. “Only you, Mr. Squirrel, understand me. You know why sunlight is out to get me.” I’ll build a fantasy play land for myself in the backyard. Kids will ring my doorbell and run for their lives as I answer the door.
However, if I destroy the ring, I’ll have to lose a lot of excuses. I’ll have to take care of myself even when I don’t feel like it, do that last load of laundry even though I just saw a commercial that reminded me of Lisa. I have to engage back into life. I don’t know if I can emotionally destroy the ring. It’s a long trek to the far-off land of Widow Mountain. Do I have it in me to make that journey and destroy the ring? Not sure. For now, I think I’ll just keep it in my pocket, where I can hold it and rub for comfort. How bad can it be to keep it?
My precious, my precious.