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  • Saturday, May 03, 2008

    One more ring story.

    Because that last one wasn't long enough? (If you haven't read it, the next post below, read it before continuing with this one -- it's long, but it's the context.)

    Well, actually, this is a story about SM's family. SM grew up with one brother and his parents in New England. His mother, sadly, died of cancer at the very young age of 51, seventeen years ago. SM's father remarried some years later.

    So when SM and I decided to get hitched, I asked him if his dad might still have any of his mom's jewelry. I wanted something to represent her in the wedding. So she would be there too.

    SM, of course, had no clue about his mom's jewelry, let alone what happened to it. But he knew why I wanted something and agreed to ask his dad about it.

    So he called his dad to ask. His dad didn't say much, but later he sent this email to SM:
    When your Mom and I got married, we could not afford an engagement ring.

    Years later when I was working for [XYZ company] and life was good, she decided that she wanted a "rock". She did not care if it was flawed, she just wanted a big ring. (I still have that ring.)

    In time she did not like that the flaws were so easily apparent to the naked eye and clearly we could afford something better, so we got her a new ring. I think that it is sometimes called a dinner ring. It is very pretty and looks to be of good quality.

    You can have either ring.

    One of her diamond earrings was lost when the ambulance took her to the hospital just before she died. The insurance company replaced it but I gave one of the earrings to [SM's brother] and the other to [stepmother] (I had it re-set and [stepmother] does not know that it came from your Mom).

    I gave her pearl earrings to [her mother, SM's grandmother]. I have no idea what happened to them.

    [SM's mother's sister] asked for your Mom's charm bracelet. This was the toughest of all her possessions for me to part with. The charms had real sentimental meaning not only to your Mom but to me as well. Perhaps you could ask [the aunt] if she still values it. If not, maybe that would be something that she would pass on to you.

    I also have your Mom's Hummel and Balik collections. I have thought that at some time I would hand out one per kid at Christmas time. This is not anything that would appear on Antiques Roadshow, but you might appreciate the sentimental value in them.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks [SM], for allowing me to remember all this. Sometimes I miss your Mom a lot. This is one of those times. Whenever we had a big deal going on (like vacations and big events or purchases) she would just feel it and be in the groove and get it organized and make it work. Your wedding would be a wonderful event for her.
    Isn't that amazing? I hope SM inherited that self-awareness and sensitivity.

    Anyway, so SM and I discussed it. I asked him if he remembered the second ring, but he couldn't picture it. He thought it was shaped like a flower.

    I told him quite frankly that a flower-shaped ring wasn't something I'd pick, but the point of this was to have something of her. My taste wasn't the issue or the central concern. I also told SM that I thought it might be nice if we let his younger brother (who has trouble with money-management issues) have the engagement "rock". I already have my rock and don't need another; plus, it's likely that the younger brother, when the time comes, will not be able to afford a diamond engagement ring. While I probably would prefer a solitaire over a flower-shaped design, I thought it much more important to pass the engagement ring to the brother. So, sight-unseen, we decided to accept the second ring. Which we did. And SM's dad will bring it down when he visits later this month.

    I'm really pleased that I'll have these very important women represented during the wedding.

    I was even more pleased when I saw this picture of the second ring.

    Not only am I fortunate to have this heirloom symbol to represent SM's mother, but I'm also lucky that I actually think it's quite nice.

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