“When I married the man of my dreams 25 years ago, we were rich with love, but not so rich with money...in fact, we were just two medical students with big dreams and a steady diet of ramen noodles. When Dan popped the question, he offered a simple, very small diamond ring with the promise to upgrade it when we could afford to. I have always treasured it, not caring about the size, but as the years went by and we celebrated each anniversary, Dan still insisted that one day he’d surprise me with the diamond he felt I deserved.
“But life threw us a curve when Dan passed away from cancer just shy of our 25th wedding anniversary. The night of our anniversary, I went to bed early, trying to escape the soul-crushing pain, and had a very realistic dream. In it, Dan led me to his robe that hung on the closet door, reached inside the pocket and pulled out a red velvet box. Inside was a sparkling diamond ring. Smiling, he whispered, ‘You and me, always.’
“I woke with tears streaming onto my pillow, and to prove to myself it wasn’t real, I went and checked his robe pocket...and felt a velvet box. My hands shook as I opened it to find the exact same ring.
“At that moment, I knew he was with me, then I noticed an inscription on the band: You & me, always.”
—Monica Roberts, 63, Baltimore