Grandmother’s Ring

Creator: CatLane | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Copyright: Catherine Lane

“What do you mean it’s missing?” I demanded of my grieving mother in what I now realize in my own elder years, was not a kind tone of voice. In my defense, my twenty-three year old devastated self had barely gotten over the death of my beloved grandfather, grandmother’s husband of sixty-four years and my mother’s father. The blows had come too quickly and too unexpectedly. My anger at the universe, at God, at life, needed an outlet and only just entering adulthood as I had; I’d allowed myself to slip back into those awful, heart-wrenching, parent-hating days of teenhood.

My mother, maddeningly stoic, informed me that someone had stolen it sometime between the time the paramedics had arrived at the house and pronounced my grandmother deceased and the time she was lain within her casket for the final viewing.

“Who took it? She promised it to me? She promised me I’d always feel her with me whenever I wore it; whether on my finger or on a chain around my neck. She promised!” 

I broke down, not allowing anyone to console me, not allowing anyone to touch me. The pain was overwhelming, I’d shatter if anyone tried. 

Out in front of the dilapidated little Arkansas house stood the old willow tree, carvings up and down its trunk and limbs, all the way to the top. It was me. Every summer I’d climb those old branches and carve into that soft, sweet bark my name, my current crushes name and of course, the names of the most popular teen idols of the time; so sure was I that I’d marry one of them when I grew up. 

I sat beneath its branches now, alone. Most of the teen idols had married, had children or died of an overdose, always reported as accidental of course. My sweet grandmother was not supposed to die, at least not yet. I’d felt the same about my grandfather. 

When my grandfather had passed, my grandmother asked if there was anything among his personal belongings that I’d like to have. There was only one thing. His thin, nearly worn through gold wedding band. I’d like to wear it on a chain around my neck close to my heart. She promised me she would retrieve it for me when the time was right. 

That time never came. His old retirement watch, his ring and his wallet had gone missing, never to be found. It was then that grandmother promised me her tiny little, nearly worn through gold wedding band upon her passing. I accepted the promise with the naive faith of youth, that her passing would not be for a very, very long time.

Now, it had happened again. My heart, rendered raw from the unprecedented news of her death, could not bear to think that little gold symbol of my grandparents long, truly loving marriage, was gone. 

Twenty years later I stood in my parents home, listening to a pastor whom I’d never met, extoll the wonderful virtues of the woman who had been my mother. Numb. I was numb. Stoic, I thought. The pain so overwhelmed me that every emotional neuron or synapses or whatever it was that caused the human body to actually feel emotional pain, had shut down. Turned off. Now I understood. 

My father was speaking to me, placing something small, tiny actually, and round in my palm. 

“Your mother wanted to make sure this came to you. She had me remove it before,” my father made an odd sort of gasping hiccup sound. It was a moment before he could continue, “before she died.” 

Opening my palm, there was a tiny little silver and gold wedding band. The shank bearing the scars of repeated soldering. Through the years the delicate, thin band had worn through and each time, it had been repaired. 

I had never asked her for it, but she’d remembered. Now, twenty years since her passing I can hardly fathom the level of courage that took. I pray, when my time comes to an end, I will honor her with that same courage when I remove that precious little ringlet of gold from around my neck and place it into the loving hands of my daughter. 

Dreams from a Pilgrimage

Merril at dVerse asks us to "write about a historical artifact. You may write about any object—a family heirloom, a museum piece, a monument, or a palace. The choice is yours, but there must be some link to history and the past. You can write in any form or free verse."

18 Comments

  1. dorahak says:

    How wonderful that in the end the ring came to mean more to you after it went “missing,” since finding it revealed that your grandmother had remembered her promise! This brought a serious lump to my throat, Ami. Beautifully written.
    Pax,
    Dora

    Like

  2. kittysverses says:

    This is very beautiful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much kittysverses! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kittysverses says:

        You are welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this is honestly one of the most powerful and relatable pieces of prose I have read in some time, Ami. I adore this.


    David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am honored, thank you Ben Alexander most kindly. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely story Ami. When my Mum passed away, I understood I was to receive her sewing machine, her mother’s cameo brooch and a pocket watch that belonged to my Dad and played Love Me Tender. There was no mention of it in her will though, and no-one could find it anyway, so I think it had been given to someone when he died in 1996. I have a box of treasures in the roof, all lovingly put together in little boxes labelled in my Mum’s hand. So many little things holding huge memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you pensitivity101. Although they are material objects, these items hold an essence of our loved one that aids us in bridging the gap between our lives and where they have gone to. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They do. I have my Dad’s cardy that Mum knitted for the 25th wedding anniversary in 1975. It’s threadbare and I badly darned the elbow, but I wouldn’t part with it. I hope that when my time comes, I will be cremated in it with the pockets full of dog biscuits for my fur babies at Rainbow Bridge.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. merrildsmith says:

    Although we usually write poetry for dVerse prompts, I didn’t specify. So, thank you for sharing this lovely, heartfelt story. I can imagine how you felt–then–and now looking back. So strange that both times the ring disappeared, and how special your mother was. She listened, even when you weren’t aware. That makes me miss my mom. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Merril! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ingrid says:

    You capture so well the pain and numbness of bereavement. I have a ring of my Grandmother’s, and for a while I wore it on a chain around my neck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Warm hugs of love and understanding sent to you. Thank you for your lovely comment. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ingrid says:

        To you also. It’s a hard time of year when you’ve lost loved ones ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What a poignant story… you had me crying at this story… and somehow I fell that the memory of a lost artifact might be stronger than the artifact itself.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Bjorn. ☺️

      Like

  8. Bill says:

    A lovely story. Well done, Gypsie.

    Like

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