Wednesday, December 7, 2011

90

Today would have been Grandma's 90th birthday.  We were close, and we had a lot of things in common.  We were both December babies, for one thing, which meant that i could always count on her not to combine my birthday and Christmas presents.  She figured out once that were were the same age - to the day - when we each got engaged.  Her first husband, my grandfather, died of cancer, and she was one of my greatest supports when, three years after, mine did as well.

And so maybe i shouldn't have been surprised...

When i was planning the wedding with my second husband, Grandma, the daughter of a jeweler, took a keen interest in the rings.  And when it turned out that she wouldn't be able to travel to the wedding, we arranged to make a "detour" to visit her and her husband at their home - several hours further south than our intended honeymoon destination - bringing wedding favors and cake.  I knew that pretty much as soon as we sat down, i had better present the rings for inspection - we'd decided on vintage jewelry for me, both the engagement ring and the band.  So when i held out my hands so Grandma could take a good look, i was a little taken aback when she started to giggle... not quite the reaction i'd expected.

I looked up, befuddled, and Grandma said simply, "you're not going to believe this."  And then she scampered (86, and she scampered) back to her bedroom.

A moment later, she reappeared, and pressed a ring into my hand.  "That's the ring my daddy carved for me when i married your Grandpa."

It was the exact same pattern, a wreath of simple orange blossoms all the way around the band.


I had never seen it before - i remember her wearing a wide, plain band of yellow gold.  Hers was slightly thicker, and made in platinum, while mine is white gold.  Mine is actually probably the older of the two - i've only found fragments about the maker, but it looks like the company probably went under in the Depression.  Hers, of course, was custom made in 1944.

I now wear both bands together.  It was the one thing of hers i was really determined to have.

4 comments:

Adele Bee Ann said...

Incredible story. I was very touched and got teary eyed. Your Grandma must have been a very lovely person. Keep writing down the memories, they are the greatest gift she'll ever give you. I was close to my Grandma too, she lived to 101, I miss her everyday.

Fripperie said...

Thanks - i wish i could have recorded more from her, but the really good stories only started coming out later, and invariably when i was somewhere i couldn't do anything but listen and hope to remember - she had a way of getting into a talky mood when i was on my cell phone in a parking lot somewhere. Not that i minded sitting and listening at all, but there was no way i could record or even do much in the way of taking notes, and i hate to think of losing any details...

Adele Bee Ann said...

Just write down what you remember now. I was lucky, my mother and grandmother wrote a book of all her stories and self published it for all of her grandchildren (8 in all) and we'll pass it on to her great-grandchildren (22 in all).

Fripperie said...

That's part of why i've been doing batches of blog posts - and since my sister and i are the only grandchildren, i'm not sure who else would do it.