The Redemption of the Rings

A few years back, my momma decided she was going to start dividing up her nice jewelry between her daughters and grand daughters. She didn’t wear it much anymore, due to arthritis taking a toll on her hands, and wanted to oversee the passing on of her most treasured pieces herself. I’m not a “blingy” kinda gal, but usually seek out the unusual or especially meaningful things. As she and I sat on the bed looking over what the other sisters had not chosen, I spotted a set of white gold rings that had no stones in them. To be frank, they were dirty and had what looked like a red waxy substance lodged where small diamonds had once been. I picked them up and asked, “Mom, what are these? Where did they come from?”

“Oh those? That’s the set of rings Bob (my dad) bought me when we were first married.”

“Seriously? I’ve never seen these. I always assumed that the cluster ring you wore was the original. Hmmm…”

I didn’t go any further. I knew the rest of the story. She had not liked something about the original set and had the stones dug out and reset into one that she liked better. I knew the pattern of her behavior well. I have more than a few memories of dad shopping for mom or bringing home a gift from a rare trip, only to see a look of ambivalence cross her face. Later on he would recruit us girls into accompanying him, thinking we could shed some light on his potential purchase. That didn’t work either. I don’t remember anything ever really pleasing her. There was always something a little (or a lot) wrong with it. Wrong style, wrong color, or … fill in the blank.

Which brings me back to the sad, dirty, stoneless rings. “I’d really like to have those, mom. Very sentimental.”

“Well ok. What else?”

“Hmmm…well I really don’t see anything else that’s my style. Nope, this is it. Just the rings.”

“Well then, you might as well take this cluster too. Maybe you’ll want to have the stones reset at some point,” she said as she handed me the one she had worn daily before her hands were so swollen.

The rings stayed in my coin purse for weeks. Every time I dug for change, there they were. Finally one day I decided I was going to bring new life to the rings, and dropped them off at the jeweler’s on my lunch hour. He sent them off to be cleaned and resized, and I asked him about resetting options. The rings came back shiny and nostalgically beautiful. When he asked me about the stones, I replied that I would hold off on that. In the time it took for them to be sent off for resizing and returned, we learned that mom had pancreatic cancer. Everything unnecessary just went on hold.

Mom was only with us a little over 2 months after her diagnosis. After her passing and things had settled down, I happened across the rings once more. The time was right, and I said to myself “Let’s do this”. So back to the jeweler I went, and in less than a week they were ready. He was pleased with how well they turned out, and I shared their history with him. He smiled a little with a look of understanding.

Recently, I shared the story with a sister in the faith. It seems our mothers had a lot in common. Although we loved them fiercely, we recognized that they were strong willed, unsubmissive and seemingly never satisfied women. We are, with Yah’s help, trying to forge a NEW path and leave a legacy of what it means to be godly women. We shed a few tears that day, mostly for our fathers, and all that they had endured while married to these women.

So here’s to you, dad. The rings are BEAUTIFUL, and I will wear them in honor of you and all your attempts to please, and in honor of the man I now reverence and willingly submit to.

Author: Robin Hardman

Mom, grandma, sister, friend. Lover of my Messiah THE LIVING WORD! Oh yeah...Postal retiree too. :)

4 thoughts on “The Redemption of the Rings”

  1. Nice looking rings. The style is very “early 20th century” or maybe a little earlier. (Victorian? Maybe that’s what your mother didn’t like.)

    I did the same thing with a ring my grandfather passed down to me from a bygone era.


  2. Yes, those are nice looking rings.
    My wife has intimacy-anorexia. She acted much like your mom. Gratitude increases intimacy, so some folks just refuse to show it, in order to distance those closest to them when they should be drawing even closer together. My wife would always find some way to insult all my gifts to her or return them, and yes that was even when I enlisted others to try to get her exactly what she wanted. My oldest son was really hurt once and came to me crying when he had gone through a lot of effort to get his mother what he thought would be the perfect Christmas gift, which it was, only for her to reflexively insult it before immediately casting it aside.
    In the end I was reduced to just giving her chocolate, because she would return everything else, but she apparently lacked the self-control not to start eating the chocolate before she could return it.
    Yes, I got her a beautiful and expensive set of rings that people would fawn over while she would always tell them how it wasn’t what she had wanted. Her finger got too big for them, and when she moved out she left them behind. Then later her lawyer demanded them, and I was forced to give the rings I chose and bought, back over to the woman who despises them and doesn’t care to wear them.

    Unfortunately I can really relate to your post. Please pray for my sons, she has them, refuses to ever turn them over, and is trying to teach them to be intimacy-disordered ingrates like herself.


    1. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that in the past week, I have heard the heart’s cry of several close friends concerning what they have endured from other friends and family members. There are no words that can comfort it seems. My mind repeatedly goes back to that saying, “hurt people hurt people”, and it seems that with every generation or layer of relationship the hurt goes deeper… a multi-generational wound/curse. The path of forgiveness, healing and peace is a difficult one…

      Liked by 1 person

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