So about a hundred years ago, my grandmother scraped together every cent she had and bought my grandfather a beautiful red ruby ring. I remember him wearing it when I was a kid. I thought it made him look like Pope John XXIII. What did I know about love and sacrifice back then?
Thirty years ago, I inherited that ring, and not a day has gone by since that I haven’t worn it, except when I was in Pakistan in 2002 when I figured I’d leave it behind just in case anything happened. I wanted the ring to make it down another generation.
On this last trip, I wore it while I was hiking in Palo Duro, and in the Rockies and wandering the swamps outside of New Orleans and the streets inside it.
And then, on Monday night, after I finished speaking in Atlanta, I looked down at my finger and saw that the ruby, about the size of your thumbnail, was gone.
I found it. It had fallen out on the table where I was speaking. And I carefully reset it.
But I’m retiring the ring. It’s not the gem that matters. It’s what it’s meant for 100 years. And I want it to kindle those thoughts for another 100.