Sifting through photo archives, I came across a set of photos from an especially memorable time this past summer, in Massachusetts. I had flown back East for my friend Rachel's wedding, W.B.,but before he got there, my grandmother, mother, sister and I all got together for what my grandmother deemed a "ring ceremony."
I can remember being a little girl, playing on my grandmother's bed, dripping in all of her jewelry. I would clip on her clip on earrings, layer her necklaces around my neck, and one by one put each of her fabulous rings on my fingers--easily my favorite part of jewelry dress-up.
Over the years, I continued to bug her about wanting all of her beautiful jewels. She had a ring holder on her bedroom armoire and I would make a beeline for it each time I visited, putting different rings on and flashing them in front of her face, in hopes of annoying her to the point of giving them to me. At least just one.
When I graduated high school, those dreams came true! My grandmother surprised me and had her mother's engagement ring polished and re-sized for my graduation present. That's probably one of my favorite gifts to date. I still wear it all the time, especially if I'm going somewhere and don't want to be bothered by men. (Of quick note: an engagement ring won't always deter a man--even though it should--but it's a nice buffer just in case you need one.)
Several years after I moved to LA, I went back East for a visit. I stopped by my grandparent's house and promptly went upstairs to her bedroom, opened her jewelry dresser, and put on her big gold necklace. (This would later upstage the Big Gold Chain featured here and here.) I danced around the living room with her necklace on, and she immediately knew where I had been. She actually let me keep it, but only after instructing me to let her know prior to fishing around her jewelry drawers.
Flash-forward to this past summer: my grandmother decided that she would gift a ring to each my mother, my sister, and me. She thought it would be special to share that moment together, three generations of us, with her jewelry being passed down. And it really was special. Each ring was selected for a reason, mine being more along the lines of bothering her about it for decades. Maggie got a beautiful sapphire ring to match her blue eyes, and my mother got the ring she and her father had picked out for my grandmother, years ago.
It's funny, I can argue with my mother and grandmother more than anyone else, but moments like that, with them, are truly some of the most important to me. (And not just because I got diamonds out of it.) Traditionally nontraditional, this "ring ceremony" was both a nod to my grandmother's humor, and us as a family. She preferred to ceremoniously hand out each piece, versus any alternative of her no longer being here and doing it that way, and certainly didn't fail to crack jokes about that along the way. I can't hit on that topic, but I do know that our little ceremony will forever be a cherished memory.
My ohmygodI'vebeenwaitingforthisforever face