Wedding ring priceless in Falher woman’s eyes

Long-time Falher resident Mary Gervais loves life in a number of ways. But none of them even come close to comparing to the undeniable fondness she feels for an inexpensive wedding ring which has served as a symbol of love for more than 45 years.
“It’s worthless really,” Gervais said while holding the ring up and staring at it, “but it’s priceless in terms of the sentimental value. It’s the most precious keepsake I own.”
The ring was given to her by her teenage sweetheart (husband), Richard, who presented the ring to Gervais back in 1957 before the happy couple ran off and eloped.
It was a shining moment frozen forever in time for the young 17-year-old who was literally swept off her feet by the proposal.
“It was love at first sight. There was never any doubt in either of our minds,” Gervais said last week.
But other family members had a different opinion about the relationship.
“Everyone said it (our relationship) wouldn’t work out… that it would never last, but Richard and I proved them wrong,” said Gervais, who said it was like being shot in the heart with an arrow from cupid when they first met.
That love has continued to blossom and grow like a rose in the summer over the course of the past 45 years for the local couple who are now proud grandparents and great grandparents.
And Gervais has made a point of sharing her story with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She tells them about how her father was so outraged when they made the decision to go off on their own and elope and how she still wears the very same ring today, despite being given a newer, more expensive, wedding band.
“I have a big, flashy wedding band, but I don’t wear it that often because it doesn’t hold as much meaning to me,” she said, adding that it will never take the place of her first ring, a ring she refuses to remove.
There was, however, one exception.
That came last year when a serious dog bite on her ring finger forced physicians to remove the wedding band despite her protests.
“I didn’t want to take it off, but I had no choice,” said Gervais, who made an arrangement with the physician to have the ring removed after being sedated for surgery.
When she awoke, her precious keepsake was right back on her finger where it belonged.
It’s that same love which inspired Gervais (also a poet and songwriter) to write a poem about the ring entitled “Love Has No Price.”
Here’s the poem in its entirety:
Many years of loving you is what I seev
When I look at this old wedding band always on me
To others it must look all battered and old
But to me more precious than any valuable gem sold
Sometimes I wear my new ring just for show
While this old wedding band is still a symbol for the love we always know
No one ever tells me my ring doesn’t look too nice
Because they know I’ll remind them that Love Has No Price
The poem is one of literally hundreds which Gervais has completed over the years.v
She says poetry is much more than a hobby in her life, it’s an obsession.
“I write from my heart, striving only to reflect upon the good things in life like the many flowers in my yard . I do it because it brings me pleasure. I believe my talent is a gift from God,” said Gervais.
So do others who have been touched emotionally by her pieces of written art, eight to 10 of which have been published, including the “Love Has No Price” poem, which was printed in the United States Desert Sun National Library of Poetry in 1993.
“I get such a pleasure out of making people happy. Sometimes I make people laugh, sometimes I make them cry,” she added.
And sometimes she just makes people stand up and take notice.
That was the case last year when she her romantic story about the wedding ring took top honours in a Valentine’s Day contest, initiated by YL Radio in Peace River.
The promotional gift included one night’s accommodation, and a free supper in addition to tickets and backstage passes to a country music concert featuring performer Terry Clarke in Grande Prairie.
For Gervais, it was a fitting way to pay tribute to their love, which continues to withstand the test of time.
“Some poems write themselves. That was one of them,” she concluded.