Every day I wear 3 rings that are beautifully stunning but are not mine. I mean, they belong to me but they are not mine. They are my grandma’s. Unfortunately, my grandmas passed away a decade ago or more. So as family heirlooms go, these rings now reside in my jewelry box. I have lots of beautiful rings that could grace my fingers but these are especially gorgeous and here’s why:
- The rings are from 3 different grandmas – 3 separate and distinct bloodlines that blended together to mold me. At a glance, these rings worn together immediately remind me from where I came. A quick view reminds me of loved ones and empowers me. Although in real life they didn’t get along always (mostly they did but definitely not always), on my finger these rings combine to form a synergy they never know as individuals. When I look at them or touch them, I feel their power is with me and their protection follows me.
- Two of the rings are traditionally gorgeous, full of perfect diamonds that catch each ray of light and amplifies it’s brilliance, almost blinding the observer. The grandmas these diamond beauties represent are my maternal and paternal grandmas. They were both born in the 20’s, were children of the depression, married men that fought the Nazi’s, were forever changed by their husband’s experience, then birthed children into the first year of the baby boom. Like the diamonds in their rings, these ladies amplified the brilliance of all those around her, almost blinding the observer.
- The 3rd ring, is the ring of my maternal great grandma, my mom’s grandma. This one is not filled with diamonds, it is a well-worn thin golden band. It sits comfortably between to 2 diamond rims, separating them so they each may shine on their own. Likewise, my great grandma took great pride in letting others shine while she quietly supported their brilliance. Her family fled Czechoslovakia in the early 1900’s and after a perilous ocean journey finally landed in south Texas where they basically walked to southwestern Oklahoma, settled in, and learned to speak their new home’s language. There’s a lot more to that story but here’s what I take from it: SHE WAS TOUGH. Like herself, her simple ring is the most powerful and has endured the most. This endurance has added to the ring’s beauty and if you look closely at the ring, you can see the beauty of its youth still held deeply within the edges while the side that faces the world reflects the weathering that comes with the hard times. Her face was the same way – the surface weathered with years of anxiety, happiness, labor, and faith but if you looked closely you saw enough youthful beauty to understand what she was before life aged her.
These rings echo my past, ground my present, and shape my future. These women worked hard, loved harder, and always smiled through any setback. They came from generations that knew an entirely different kind of hard than we do. They were pioneers. They overcame odds that I don’t want to imagine. And they did it with optimism and hope. They did it for me – for a better future. I honor them daily by remembering their sacrifice and their joy. If it wasn’t for knowing their stories, I wouldn’t have the same perspective on life. It’s an honor to wear these rings and be reminded of their grace and their faith. Family is everything. I’m thankful for mine. I wear these rings daily and believe these ladies are with me, watching me, and smiling with pride. I’m blessed to be their future.