This Life...

My Turn

Back in August, I guest blogged at the Bettyverse about a special ring that my siblings and I gave to our mother many years ago.  Here’s the post…and below a picture of the ring. When we did our annual Black Friday picnic at the winery yesterday, Kate gave it to me to wear–it’s my turn.

When I was first married, my siblings and I decided to give our mom a “mother’s ring” for Christmas. Remember those? They were hugely popular in the seventies, but we wanted something different, not the typical gold band with birthstones that you could pick up at any department store. Nope, our mom needed something truly unique. So I spent several hours on the phone calling area jewelers and describing what we wanted: a white gold band with four Lindy star sapphires, two set on either side of a pearl in the center. That worked for Mom’s four September birthdays and one June kid. (Yes, I know—highly indicative of the fact that my parents were a busy pair in December and January, but not so much in September. No doubt because Mom was often great with child in September…)

The big jewelers here in town told us that Lindy stars and pearls in the same ring would look stupid or they told us they didn’t have Lindy star sapphires or they didn’t do custom ring work. By Thanksgiving, I was getting frustrated. But one day, while on a job in a small town south of here, my dear Husband noticed a tiny jewelry store tucked away not far from the diner where he’d had lunch. He wandered in and asked the jeweler if he could make a ring like the one we wanted.

With a shrug, the old guy lifted the loupe from his field of vision and said, “Sure,” and took the order post-haste. When DH brought the ring home right before Christmas, I was entranced with it. It gleamed warm in the glow of the holiday lights—four Lindy star sapphires and a lustrous pearl set in white gold. The piece was Mom, pure and simple.

Christmas Eve arrived with great fanfare. We brought my grandparents and aunt from the retirement home some fifty miles north, my sisters and brothers and their families arrived, arms full of gifts and food. We stuffed ourselves full and then gathered around the tree to open presents.

All five of us kids were more excited about Mom’s gift than we were about our own, and when she opened the ring, her expression of pure joy was the best gift of all. From that night, the beautiful little bauble never left her finger. She loved when people admired it, so she could tell them, “Four Lindy star sapphires for my four September kids and one pearl for my June girl.” We’d scored! It was exactly what she’d wanted.

When mom died and it came time to split up her jewelry, that ring was a tough call—all three of us wanted it. We considered drawing straws but instead we compromised and decided to share Mom’s ring. We’d each wear it for a year at time—a deal Mom would’ve heartily approved. So every November, we do the ring exchange and part of the fun is the ceremony involved. Wine, a toast to our mother, and then the ring goes to its new owner for another year. This year it’s my turn—I can’t wait for November!

So here it is–I’m wearing it with great pleasure!