Just before my grandmother, Momo, ended her battle with cancer, I was moving away. Just weeks before her final breath, we had a few final face-to-face talks. I’m lucky that the last few years before her cancer, I had taken the time to do a series of interviews with her; or more accurately, I would ask her one or two questions to get her talking and type while she spoke for hours. As with any good history, one topic led into another and we would sit for hours this way. I’ll forever be grateful we did that.
A few weeks before I moved, which turned out to be a few weeks before she died, I had dropped by to say hi with just two of the kids. She sent them to play and asked me to sit in a specific chair across from her chair near her bed. She told me she had a few things to give me now, before I left town and before she died. I told her there was time and she was adamant that it be done then. She explained to me I was to take two larger items that day; a cradle my grandfather had made for me (grandbaby number 1) that she wanted me to have and her Janome sewing machine. She hadn’t used the machine in years but it was a top model of it’s time and the local sewing shoppe was so happy to tune it up (it’s a wonderful machine and I am using it daily still). Then she handed me her ring.
It was a marquise diamond, a style I wouldn’t have chosen, surrounded by baguettes which I loved. I researched hours and loved the east-west setting, a popular way to wear marquise diamonds in the 1920’s.
The jeweler was thrilled at this design choice and told me it was on the second she has ever placed in this fashion.
Momo’s ring was special to her, and she told me she purchased it during a very trying time in her life. The ring was to remind her that she was strong, that she could endure, that she was who she knew herself to be. She wore it on her right hand ringfinger and she loved this ring.
I was honored to accept her ring, honored that she wanted to give me anything at all but especially something so important to her.
She passed away 4 years ago this past Spring. I’ve planned and thought and wondered about how to reset her ring in a way that both fit my hand and suited me, to both honor her and be able to wear her love on me everyday.
This fall, in the midst of a huge life change, I used the worth of some pieces that caused pain and anger from the past toward the cost of redesigning the ring with Momo’s diamond. I cannot express the redemption this brought forth in my heart…and now, how wearing this ring on my right ring finger every day reminds me of the strength her love gave me. It reminds me of who I came from and what kind of strong women have taught me about life. It reminds me of my roots, and how being who I really am is not only acceptable, but needed.
It reminds me that I am loved. And that is what she would want most of all.