Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Her Ring

Her Wedding Day
October 24, 1975
Mom knew herself well and in November 2006, she noticed that her thumb was weak and she kept feeling like she was "tripping" or stumbling in her speech. These seemed like pretty harmless symptoms to us and we shrugged them off. She went to the doctor and in December and was diagnosed with ALS told she likely had five years or less to live. We were absolutely stunned. But, she knew. She knew something big was wrong. Boy, was she right. She passed away a year and a half later ... on June 12, 2007.
With early symptoms in her thumb, it quickly spread to her entire hand. Her fingers swelled and her hand became weak and eventually useless - she couldn't wear her wedding ring. She took it off and put in her jewelry box. She'd been talking about making it into a pendant so she could wear it around her neck. A year later, Dad took the ring to the jewelry store to do just that. Mom ended up with a three stone pendant - with her wedding diamond and two new diamonds. She called it her past, present and future. It was very important to her that all of the diamonds were to be the same size. She didn't want her present or her future to be smaller than her past. It seemed to be a silly thing at that time, but now it makes perfect sense. 
After she passed away, I had the diamonds removed and made into earrings and the original diamond from her ring into a pendant for a necklace. I purchased a ruby to place in her wedding set as rubies were her birthstone.
The setting was poorly done. The stone set up too high and the prongs had to stretch to reach the top. Eventually, they started bending, snagging clothes, scratching me and others and I worried I'd lose the stone entirely. I didn't know what to do - it was so expensive to do more work to the ring and it never seemed like a good way to spend money. So, the ring sat in my jewelry box.
Fast forward almost six years later... A friend mentioned they'd went to a gold buying party and made over $1,000. I was intrigued by this. I had lots of gold from over the years that I never wore. But, it seemed wrong to sell things that had been gifts just to pocket the money. I asked a friend about it and she said she sold a handful of gold to a local jeweler to have some work done on some of her late mother's jewelry. Yes! To be able to turn unused things into something special - I knew it was the right thing to do.
A few weeks later, I went to the jewelry store to pick up my Mom's ring. I was absolutely stunned. It was more than I could have imagined. They'd turned a simply beautiful ring into something even more stunning. They'd completely re-set and widened the head, placed the stone lower in the setting and replaced the prongs with two half bezels. They also had to repair the shank as it was actually cracked as well. It was a pricey amount of work, but with the gold I'd sold, it seemed like more than a fair trade. I now have my mother's beautiful ring to wear each day. And what a special keepsake it will be to pass onto Elyse one day.
Today, Mom, I celebrate your life. Thank you for blessing me with your love and for always showing and telling me how much you love me.
How I wish you could have heard the words "Grandma Kathy". Know your grandchildren look to you in love each day.
I love you and I thank you

Not so great cell phone pictures, but here is a closer look at the ring.

Katherine Lee Wallis - 7/29/55 - 6/12/07

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1 comment:

The Norris Clan said...

That is beautiful... Thinking of you, my friend.


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