Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Mother's Ring

I now have the most stunningly beautiful ring on my finger.  I mean gorgeous.  It's actually one of those rings that when you show it, there's an audible intake of breath. You have to understand  - I am Woman. I love jewelry.  No, I LOVE jewelry! The bigger and the sparklier the better, and if it just happens to be REAL, so much the better! But every time I look at it, it just makes me feel melancholy and sad.

You see, it's my mother's ring. About 15 years ago, mom and dad took all her diamonds from over the years, you know, broken settings, lost prongs, etc., and put them together into this showstopper of a ring.  This ring is my mom.  It's her history.  It's my dad's history.

They met in Spokane, Washington.  A really good skater, he knocked her down, and had to spin all the way around the rink before he picked her up. He picked her up for good.  They dated a couple weeks, and then he was off to serve in WW2.  They corresponded and eventually he sent her a ring from Paris asking her to marry him.  He actually sent her engagement ring in the mail during wartime!  One of these diamonds was in that ring.

Two weeks ago we put my mother in memory care.  Dad lives across the street, but it is an awfully long ways away.  I picked her up today to go have lunch with dad.  She didn't know where we were going.  When we got to their place, she thought I lived there with dad.  She didn't remember where the bathroom was, although they lived there together for six years.

She loved seeing everyone and hugging everyone, but couldn't remember exactly who they were.  When it came time to go, we said goodbye to dad and walked out.  She wanted to know where Martin was. "I never go anywhere without Martin." She wasn't sure where we were going, and it was like entering a place she'd never been. I found her spot and settled her in with some other ladies, but she thought I was going to stay with her.  I hugged and kissed her goodbye, telling her I'd be back.  When I turned to look back one last time, she was sitting there with a vacant and lost look on her face.

My mother. But not my mother.  This ring on my finger belongs to her. But they won't let her wear it. And so here I sit, thinking of her.  Thinking of dad, feeling their loneliness.  Desperately sad for them.  My mother is gone already.  Her body just doesn't know it.  One of these days, her body will release her soul, so it can be free.  Lord, help us all.

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