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On a Firm Foundation: Infinite Bonds


Mary Quilici Aumack

Executive Director
Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County


I don’t know the last time I took off my wedding band, but I know it’s more than 20 years. In that time the band was NEVER off my finger. Most of the time my engagement ring is also on. My friend Devonne teases me because I get “stuff” in there. A couple of years ago I took off my engagement ring to have it cleaned. The guy at the jewelry store asked, “could there be dough in there?” Yup, I had been baking bread the previous day.

But the band, the symbol of my love and partnership with Doug, just about never leaves my finger.

A couple of weeks ago I had minor surgery. It was no big thing, and I’m not sick. I think the major “issue,” if you can call it that, was removing my wedding band. To say that it was a little stuck would be an understatement. We went to YouTube to figure out how to get it off. We were successful, and once it was off it was clear that it will need to be “stretched” a tad before it’s going back on.

So, I am without my wedding ring for a while. Off my finger is this symbol of love, commitment, perpetuity.

Meanwhile, several other things have been happening in my life, that remind me of bonds, relationships, and FOREVER VALUE: I recently reconnected with one of my “sisters” from Notre Dame High School. We shared a breakfast, we reminisced, spoke of points of joy and sorrow. A couple of weeks ago I had lunch on campus at Santa Clara University. Although I did not attend SCU, my family is deeply connected. I am proud of the academic and social presence of this great institution. I recently stopped in for a “catching up” conversation with my pastor, Father Rick Rodoni. I have been watching my alma mater, Gonzaga, play in the NCAA basketball tournament, making their 20th consecutive appearance. Alas Gonzaga, next year. And, together with my siblings and Father Chris Bransfield, I am planning the burial ceremony for my mom, including a fun lunch at one of her favorite places.

What do all these things have in common? Love, family, faith, friendship, history. Deep, enduring, and, I would purport, “forever” bonds.

Are they equal? Of course not. Yet, in my life, they are all important, and defining.

Not wearing my wedding ring in no way weakens my marriage. Doug is stuck with me FOREVER, and for that I am deeply grateful.

Such is the strength and permanence that comes from these bonds, these shared experiences, and shared sacraments. Such is the strength and deep comfort that comes from our faith. We are bound by what I always call the “why” of us: The gift and real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; and our response to the call to BE the body of Christ in the world.

Such also is the strength and power of legacy planning. We may be remembering our parish, a school, Catholic Charities, a religious order, or providing for future strength of vocations or youth ministry. We may be planning a material gift, or establishing a practice of regularly praying for grace, growth, and giving. All of these things recognize and show gratitude for infinite bonds.

I continue to be grateful for these defining gifts in my life.

Mary welcomes your comments and ideas (408) 995-5219. For more information please visit www.cfoscc.org.