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.