Thursday, October 21, 2010

That Golden Circle


I had a great time in Colorado at the wedding of Jack and Jill. I am blessed with a great family, including four sisters who know how to have a good time. I got to see those sisters, along with assorted brother-in-laws and many of my beautiful nieces and nephews.

My father passed away a few years ago and my mom was not able to make the trip to the wedding, but they would have loved this family ceremony, and would no doubt have looked around with pride at all they started those many, many years ago when they said "I do." They were happy to be married to each other. I remember simple gold band my dad wore with pride.

It was his only jewelry. He wore it to church every Sunday and I'd study it during the service--this rich metal, warm and smooth against my father's rough hands--the hands of a farmer. I loved looking at it against his skin. He would have worn it all the time, but my mother begged him to take it off when he worked around the farm. She was afraid it would catch on some unforgiving piece of equipment and injure him. He complied with her wishes, placing the ring on the dresser in the bedroom.

One day when I was very young, I found the ring there and I was thrilled. Finally, I could explore it fully. I picked it up, held it between my thumb and forefingers and looked through it. I tried it on my little fingers. I turned it over and over, but within minutes, I discovered that the same ring that was so warm and intriguing while on my father's finger,was now just a piece of cold metal. Seeing it there, still and cool to the touch, made me sad. The emptiness in the middle of the circle spoke to me of loneliness. I left it there in the tray, and the next time I saw it on his finger, I smiled and felt all was right again.

I hadn't given much thought to this ring, but at the wedding reception that I found out that my nephew Jack had decided to use Daddy's wedding ring for his own. He and Jill had taken it to a jeweler who had placed two thin bands of silver above and below the gold band. Daddy's ring had fit my nephew's finger perfectly, no sizing necessary. I was not prepared for my reaction when I saw it on Jack's hand after the ceremony. The fact that Jack looks like my dad, that he works in agriculture like my dad did, and that his hands also bear witness to a life lived with nature, all combined to send tears to my eyes when I saw the ring on his finger.

I looked at my proud nephew and at that ring no longer cold and still in a box or a tray, but now vibrant and shining, and through my tears I smiled. The ring that was filled with my father's presence, imbued family history, was now warm and living, and headed into a rich future. The bride had worried that adding the bands of silver on either side of the ring might have bothered some family members. But to me, it was exactly right.

We have our pasts, good or bad, and we build on them, creating our own lives.

If that past contains a ring of gold, and a history of love--that most precious of all elements--then how lucky and blessed are we?

Building on that foundation, adding to that treasure, is both a joy and a happy obligation.





60 comments:

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said...

wonderful post Betty, brought tears to my eyes reading it. :-)

Lora said...

what a wonderful tribute and promise for the future :) I loved this post, even if it DID make me cry a little.

Seams Inspired said...

This is almost a two-hankie post! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment with us. *She says while dabbing her eyes.*
Larri at Seams Inspired

Noelle said...

I LOVED this post!

Joe Cap said...

this is a great post, I can relate to it so much...

baygirl32 said...

what a very touching post

Leanne said...

Absolutely beautiful post, Betty. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Out on the prairie said...

Beautiful post, a real charmer.

Gigi said...

I love everything about this post! the circle of life continues, embodied in that ring.

Little Girl::Big Glasses said...

Awwww. Beautiful.

Tracy said...

Beautiful thoughts, Betty.

Marlene said...

Thanks for making me cry! *sniff*

Brian said...

That is so cool to use your Father's ring, a great memory updated!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

That is so touching. Jill is a lucky girl!

Talei said...

Oh this is a beautiful tribute for your family. It's great to have something so special passed to nephew. Congrats to you and your nephew and his lovely bride.

Aging Mommy said...

Beautiful post Betty and what a wonderful story. I think it is so lovely that your nephew chose to take your father's ring and wear it as his wedding ring.

Hilary said...

Such a beautiful post, Betty. So touching and tender. I have my own father's initial ring which I'd actually forgotten about. I always hoped that one day my son (who has the same initial) would wear it. Now that he's grown, I suppose it's time to find out. Thank you for this beautiful story.

Momma Fargo said...

That is so cool! I love the story behind the ring. Very awesome post, Betty. Thanks for sharing!

Pat said...

I like the idea of your father's ring living on with your nephew. And the fact that he resembles your father is even better! I have a feeling that your father would be very happy at seeing his ring passed down to this nephew!

blueviolet said...

Oh Betty, that just gave me chills through and through! I love how the ring lives on!

Reputation@Stake said...

I have just discovered your blog, and I've stuck around because of how funny most of your posts are. But this post, with no humor at all, was equally as enjoyable. Really well written and composed. It appears that your blog will produce quality in any form. And yes, as others have said, thanks for sharing that story.

Old Kitty said...

What a beautiful and perfect way to honour you father BB!!! It's lovely how his ring is now passed on to the next generation and will live on towards the next. I wish Jack and Jill a wonderful and amazing future together! Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's really nice your nephew wanted to use your father's ring.

Ann said...

what a beautiful story. I think that ring was meant to be Jack's. Not only does it hold all the memories of your parents love for each other but now, as with the addition of the silver bands, it will add a lifetime of new memories.

Mamma has spoken said...

I love it that the ring is still being used by the next generation. I have had friends tell me how they want to be buried with their jewelry when they die. Not me, I want someone in the family to use it. That way, they'll be able to remember me every time they look at it.
Oh and by the way, is that a fish tatooed on her back?

Gigi said...

That is beautiful!

Daisy said...

So wonderful that the ring is once again a symbol of love and that it continues in your family. Lovely post, Betty.

Liz said...

that's so cool! i love that he did that with the ring.

Venassa said...

Beautiful post. I love that they kept your father's ring in use.

Jules said...

What a moving post Betty. Nice to know things change and yet remain the same. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Brian Miller said...

smiles. that was beautiful...tears in my eyes...cold metal redeemed once more...smiles.

Theresa Milstein said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. I'm glad the ring, which only had life for you on a finger, has a new life - a new representation of a lifetime of love.

It must've been a moving weekend for you.

I have a ring story. Maybe I'll share it one day.

Linda said...

I love your story. It's so precious, and the ring gets passed on from generation to generation. The stories it will tell. Thanks for sharing.

Jen G-son said...

That's a truly wonderful story. Thanks for sharing :)

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Hi Betty-congrats to the newlyweds. That was a lovely story that I know I'm going to remember. I especially liked how you wrote that the ring was so much less intriguing when your Dad wasn't wearing it. I liked that they modified the ring to make it theirs while still maintaining everything it was. No wonder you got all choked up!

Lisa said...

OH! Betty I know what you mean! I lost my father only a year ago. I loved to look at his ring. He was a contractor with those same rough hands. My parents were married 56 years. My brother, divorced many times, now wears my father's ring and I often find myself whispering to myself "wear it well it and honor him." My wish for your nephew: He wears the ring well and will honor is grandfather. I love the fact Jack's new wife was concerned the family would be worried about the ring. That tells me she is kind and thinks of others and not just herself.

I am sure Jack and Jill will bring honor to the ring and your family. I am sure your father is smiling down on them with pride.

Beautiful Post Betty!!

A girl needs 2 Talk said...

Oh, Betty! I thought of my Grandfather and cried. I am so so so so so happy, proud and... just happy to be reading this post. I'm at a loss of words! I love you!

NENSA MOON said...

Beautiful post, BB!!
I'm so touched.
thanks, nensa

citymouse said...

Glancing through your comments on my way to adding mine, I see your post had the same effect on me as it did for many of your readers.

This is a beautiful piece that brought tears to my eyes. I think those of us who reacted that way have learned a little about life, love and loss and your words spoke to that place in our hearts.

I hope you share this with your nephew and his bride. It will add another wonderful layer to their beautiful day.

Green Monkey said...

that was wonderful Betty - I love starting my day with you. also like the pumpkin eyes.

Betty ~ I never do this, pimp my post on your site, but its a cat thang, and I know how much betty likes her felines.

enjoy your day and your weekend Betty. this post was the perfect beginning to mine!

much appreciation, monkeyME

slommler said...

What a beautiful memory. And I love how they used your fathers' ring. How sweet is that?! This definitely brought a smile to my face and heart and a tear to my eyes.
Hugs
SueAnn

Madi and Mom said...

Happy Friday BB...
Oh my goodness this is an absolutely
amazing story. Jack is one fine young man and his Granddaddy would be very very happy.

Thank you for sharing this story,
Hugs Madi and Mom

Leah J. Utas said...

Most touching.

earthtoholly said...

Awww, Betty, this was just beautiful...and made me cry. I now have my dad's "golden circle" and as the one-year anniversary of his passing approaches, this brings back my own memories. Great writing!

Mellisa Rock said...

How sweet that he chose to use that ring and brought such happy memories to you and into his marriage.

Cricket said...

That is a beautiful post. I have one piece of jewelry from each of my grandfathers: a pocket-watch from the Grampa I knew, an emerald inlaid harp pin from the one I never knew.

I never carry the watch. I have my own cheapo for that, and I only wear the pin on St. Patrick's, but I'm glad to have them all the same.

I love it when people keep things like that in use. It just adds to the meaning. I also have a 200 year-old family baptismal gown, most recently used in 2006 - same story.

Great post.

sherri said...

HOW AWESOME. LOVE THE NEW HEADER, TOO. AND NOT LOVING THAT MY SHIFT KEY IS STUCK (SORRY TO SHOUT)

Talli Roland said...

What a beautiful piece of writing - done with such feeling yet simplicity! *sniff*

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I am so happy for your family. Thanks for a great one, Betty!

Baby Sister said...

That was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. :)

Copyboy said...

You have such a wonderful way of capturing these type of emotional blessed events.

Dawn said...

Teary-eyed post!
Love this...thanks for sharing it!

Sarah said...

What happiness for the whole family! May them have many many wonderful years together!

ethelmaepotter! said...

This is a true love story, and brilliantly written. I'm printing it to take to my computer-illiterate parents and saving it to my favorites!

Webbie said...

I see a lovely tattoo....is there a closeup shot of that?

Susan Fields said...

What a beautiful post - congrats to the happy couple!

Lydia Kang said...

That was so sweet and touching. Congrats to the newlyweds!

Cheeseboy said...

Very, very nice. Loved your description of the ring. I would have loved to use my Grandpa's ring.

Joyful said...

What a poignant story. Hugs xx

The Empress said...

I can't type much, can't see the keys through the tears.

lovely post...just so lovely.

I can see your father's face in the ring on Jack's finger.

So.lovely.

Why don't you write a book, Betty?