In May 1973, my father in law proposed to my mother in law right after her high school graduation. In September of that year, they were married. They were high school sweethearts and ready to start their lives together.
A handful of years later, after making memories and getting to experience many adventures together, they settled down to start a family. Mr. Rick, as I called my father in law, for “Mr. Eyles” was too formal for him and “Rick” was too informal for me, built their house himself, on a top of a hill just outside Zelienople. The house overlooks 60 acres of fields and woods, and is a frequent bystander to various airplanes and helicopters as they are in the pattern to land at the local airport over the hill. They had two children, a girl and then the boy who would later go on to be my very own high school sweetheart. This homestead was theirs for life.
My father in law was hands down one of my favorite people. He inspired me and taught me that hard work is the most rewarding way to get what you want. He showed me love and compassion and so, so much laughter. He took me in as one of his own long before I took the family name. His passing in 2013 hit all of us extremely hard and still comes in waves for me.
In early February of this year, we were back home in PA to take care of my mother in law (Mrs. Rick, as I call her, or Mum, now that she is my other mother). She broke her arm, nothing major, she’s an Eyles after all (as the family would say: “Rub some dirt on it!”) I had to take my wedding set in to town to the local jewelry store to be cleaned and looked at. I had a loose diamond and was told it could take a week to be repaired. Being ring-less felt awfully strange, so my MIL suggested I try on her set. Both the wedding band and engagement ring fit like a glove.
They’re old and a very different style from my own rings, but I’m in love. I’m a sentimental person as well, so I’m sure that’ll explain some attachment I have to wearing these rings. Regardless,I can’t stop looking at them. It’s like they belong.
My husband and I got married on September 29, 2012. Our one year anniversary would have been my in-laws 40th. I love that we share this day with them and I can guarantee that I’m not exactly in a rush to trade in my 1973 rings for my original wedding set. Every time I look down at my hand, I’m reminded not only of my own commitment with my husband, but of my in-laws to each other and every single wonderful memory I have with them.