Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Thin Gold Band

Recently, while surfing the wonderful world of blogs, I read a post at my friend Jen's, We're Living a Full Life, entitled "With This Ring I Remember." It was about her grandmother's engagement ring. I was  reminded of the story behind my mother-in-law's wedding band. I had to share the story.


My mother-in-law died at the age of 93. She was a very dear friend of mine. All the years Richard and I lived together (before marriage) I would ask her at Christmas what she would want and she always answered with the same thing: "I want you to make an honest man of my son and marry him." The day we walked into her kitchen and Richard introduced me as his wife will always be one of my favorite days on earth. She was beyond happy. Sadly, she only lived four years longer.


Her ring
After her death, while we were cleaning her house and preparing the estate for auction, I found a very tiny envelope tucked away in her jewelry box. She didn't own designer jewelry. Mostly costume pieces. Nothing worth much money. But inside this small envelope, along with a folded piece of paper, was a very thin band of 18K gold. And it had been cut. I carefully unfolded the piece of paper and found in her beautiful penmanship:


   "first time off my finger in 48 years."


Richard said that he could remember the day the ring was cut from her finger. She had injured her hand and was taken to the emergency room. The swelling in the finger made it necessary for them to cut off the slender band of gold. She wanted it taken to the jewelry store and repaired. But her husband instead bought her a new wedding set. Something she had never owned. Diamonds and gold. And just before their 50th wedding anniversary! Of course she was thrilled. We buried those rings with her. The original band of gold took up residence in her jewelry box for me to find in the summer of 2000.


I asked her daughters (and her granddaughters) if they would like to have the ring. None of them did. I was very surprised. It was the band of gold their father had so carefully placed on their mother's finger a half century or more in the past. It held no meaning to them. I asked Richard if I could have it. He got it repaired...they had to place a tiny bit of gold so that it would be my size...and then he put it on my ring finger.

I wore it there, along with my wedding set, until the summer of 2014. That is when I lost the diamond from my engagement ring. Now only that slender band of gold is proudly worn on my ring finger. I think of her each time I look at it. I think of Richard each time I look at it. I think of all the many, many years of love these men bestowed upon us, their ladies. We were a lucky couple of ladies. For sure.



18 comments:

  1. What a lovely story. So nice that you had a good relationship with your mother-in-law.

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  2. That is such a beautiful story, Paula. Thanks for sharing it!

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  3. I like these symbols that span generations. My daughter's wedding band belonged to her husband's grandmother; her engagement ring belonged to her own grandmother.

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  4. What a sweet story Paula! Thanks for sharing it :) It is interesting that none of the children or grandchildren wanted it. My parents were buried with their wedding rings and my mom wasn't a jewelry wearer so we don't have any jewelry from her. My mother in law did wear lots of jewelry, we sold the majority of it. Hubby kept a diamond ring she wore and another ring she had. I'm not sure what he plans to do with them down the line. That is sweet you had a great relationship with your mother in law too. I didn't, but it helped me to learn how to be a mother in law if I get that opporutnity down the road.


    betty

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    1. I'm sorry you didn't have a good relationship with your MIL. I didn't with my first MIL either until I divorced her son. Then we got along better. Maybe you'll have grandchildren he can pass them on to someday!

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  5. Beautiful story, really.
    In my past, the death of my grandmother brought out those who sought only things of value. They took everything they could manage with my mother, siblings, and I looking at the ruin people's choices made. I wear a thin band of silver on my right ring finger every day (that was hers) because no one found it of any value to take from me. It is worth more than the diamonds they wanted, she wore this all the time, as I do now.

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    1. Isn't it funny what one member of the family doesn't want we find to be priceless??

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  6. What a great story, I sigh as I wipe a tear from my eye. Thanks Paula.

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    1. Thanks to you Wendy! I am glad that I have these stories to pass down to my grands. And the ring too will get passed on someday

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  7. Oh this is wonderful Paula! How sweet ( and how sad that her daughters and grand daughters did not want the ring). My Nanna left her wedding band to my daughter Robyn. It is the thinnest, wisp of a thing now, and had been lost in her garden for many years before being miraculously found again. But it holds such memories for us. I am so very happy you have that beautiful ring, and you get to wear it every day!

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    1. I have always thought is was sad about the daughters and granddaughters. But I am happy to have it. Maybe I'll find my diamond one day

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  8. This is so beautiful. It sounds as if your MIL couldn't have loved you any more if you were her own child. Bet-cha she's awfully pleased it's you wearing that sweet band of gold.

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