4:37 p.m. - 2006-05-30
Occasionally she would let me wear a little trinket for a day or two, as long as I stayed around the house. I was once given the extreme privilege of being allowed to wear her baby ring. A tiny gold band with the name “Shirley” engraved across the top. Her father had been a professional jewellery engraver, but had died when she was very young. Any pieces that she still had that he’d worked on were worth more than my life. Or so it felt when I was but a wee inquisitive tyke.
I was very proud to be granted the permission to wear this small baby ring. I just fit on my pinkie finger.
My dad’s hobby was wood carving, and while wearing the ring, I was downstairs in his workshop with him. I was holding a great large green garbage bag of curly wood shavings. I can’t remember the project he was working on at the time. But somehow, that tiny precious gold ring came off my finger and into the almost full back of wood shavings. And as quickly as I could fearfully call “ Uhh … dad …?” the ring had wormed its way out of sight.
He was not impressed, and was also equally determined that my mother not find out about my little folly. So meticulously the two of us began to take each individual curl out of the bag in attempt to find the ring.
Much time later, I dejectedly climbed back up stairs to tell my mom the bad news.
She was far from impressed and banned me from ever touching her jewellery box again.
Many, many years later, once again given permission into the magic jewellery box, I came across the ring. My father had found it and never told me.
Also kept stashed away in my mothers jewellery box was a ring that was never to see the outside of the treasured container. It, of course, held me in awe. It wasn’t an expensive piece of jewellery, it wasn’t a piece that my grandfather had ever engraved or even touched. It was a silly little bobble with a big fake glass diamond set into a bubble gum prize setting that my eldest bother had given to my mom for Mother’s Day when he was just a wee lad. Keep in mind that my eldest brother is 14 years older than me, so that ring had “been in the family” for a very long time.
This ring, above all others I coveted, but did not play with. I somehow knew that deep down this ring was more precious than anything my mother owned. To this day I still believe it holds a special place in my mother’s jewellery box.
What prompted this entry was that last night, as I prepared for bed; I looked into my bathroom mirror and saw that I was missing an earring. Normally this wouldn’t have disturbed me too much, but I have barely ever removed these earrings in the last three plus years. They were T’s gift to me for our first wedding anniversary. Beautiful Aquamarine stones with a tiny diamond, each set in white gold.
I’ve hunted high and low in our home. I have no clue when it loosened itself from my hear lobe and departed. It may have been that morning. It may have been the previous day at a picnic. All I know is that I have, once again, lost a treasure. I pray it will find its way back to me soon.
Did I mention that I also lost my grandmother’s engagement ring when I was a teenager? There is a grassy slope beside a rodeo arena outside of Innisfail, Alberta that has a beautiful, antique gold ring with a ruby in it somewhere – lost forever to me.
I just can’t be trusted with fine jewellery.