the Mr. & Mrs., wedding

The Claddagh Promise

It’s true that many of the most important things in our lives will be the smallest. It was a day after my engagement to Maria that I found myself waving goodbye to her as the escalators slowly pulled me away from Los Angeles towards my plane bound for Canada. The ring had been finished on the last morning of my visit to Claremont, so I had had no choice but to make her wait through a couple of weeks until the proposal. But we were engaged now, I thought, as I hurriedly removed any metal objects, shoes, belt, dodged through security and grabbed my things so I could resume at least my text conversation with her. I hurried to my gate, looked at my watch and decided I had a few extra minutes, so I sat down halfway to my gate… and then I noticed. I was missing something very important.

I rushed back to the airport security area and nervously explained my problem to the nice young lady attending the scanner. She turned around to someone sitting behind her who I hadn’t even noticed. Slowly a frail and rickety elderly lady in a TSA uniform rose from her chair and hobbled around the scanner belt towards me. I was afraid she would break at any step. Nope, she made it. Whew. She gave me a crooked smile, wrinkly from much use, stopped the line of impatient people, crossed through the scanner and began digging through the huge stack of of airport security bins. It was near the bottom, tiny and barely noticeable. She wrapped it in her bony, shaking hand and hobbled back to me, dropping the tiny silver Claddagh ring in my hand. “This is too small for the scanner,” she said, “but too important to take off.”

Our Claddagh Rings – yes we’re getting married on Canada Day!

Claddagh promise and wedding rings are an old Irish tradition. Here’s an abbreviated intro from Wikipedia:

An early written description of the Claddagh ring was published in 1843, along with an illustration in a section about the Claddagh fishing community and their wedding rings. The wedding ring was an heir-loom in a family, was regularly transferred by the mother to her daughter first married; and so on to their descendants, and were large, of solid gold, and not infrequently costing from “two to three pounds each.”

The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).

Claddagh rings may be used as friendship, relationship, eternity, engagement, or wedding rings depending on the intention of wearer and, in the case of a gift, of the giver. There are three traditionally accepted ways of wearing the ring which may signal someone’s relationship status:
1. When worn on the right ring finger with the heart pointing to the fingertip, the wearer is free of any attachment.
2. On the same finger with the ring turned around, it suggests someone is romantically involved.
3. When the ring is on the left hand wedding ring finger it means the person is married or engaged.

There are many little things we will find in life that will become priceless by being introduced into a timeless relationship. We gave each other Claddagh rings early on in our relationship; it was a way of telling each other that our relationship was first and foremost a blooming friendship that we promised to each other, and the Claddagh ring she gave me recently changed from promise ring on my right hand to engagement ring on my left. It meant and will always mean love, friendship, and loyalty.Β 

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  • Reply Brendon

    Woohoo! Seal of approval! I think it’s safe to safe to say I’d grab Maria first and whisk her away from danger.

    May 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Hannah Brown

    Would your Claddagh rings be the first thing you would grab if your house was on fire? πŸ˜‰
    Love you guys! This post has been approved by an Irish Studies student. πŸ™‚

    May 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm
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