My mother’s engagement ring sits in the palm of my hand, or at least I wished it did. It think I will get it out of my jewelry box again and stare at its brilliance. Actually it is ugly now, tarnished and bent. It even has a break in the band, worn thin and broken-it pinches my finger when I put it on.
My memory serves me well, that my favorite thing to hold was her ring, mama’s old engagement ring. She never wore the ring, always taking it from her finger to wash dishes or to mix ground beef. I always saw the trinket, glimmering faintly on the kitchen sink. Most times, I ran up and got her attention, so that I could slip my hand around her waist, without her being the wiser.
When mama wasn’t looking, I took the ring and ran into the other room. I would hold it tightly at first, feeling the realness of the trinket. Then I carefully opened my hands and enjoyed the fact that I had it away from her. In the kitchen, mother sang some old spiritual song and kept on working. In the living room, I sat on the couch, feet propped against the edge of the table, and I stared at the ring. After a while, I returned to my grandmother’s room and lay on the bed. Sometimes I fell asleep, sometimes I hid mother’s ring in my toybox and sometimes, she came to ask me if I had it again.
I remember holding mama’s ring, thinking that it was really mine. It is an item from my past that I shall never forget. When she died, I took the ring and placed it in my jewelry box. It is still there and sometimes I get it out, lay back on bed and dangle the old thing in front of my eyes. Whether I cry or not, in memory of mother is beside the point, and I have no idea what the ring means for me. I just know that I will forever be in awe of this simple object of beauty.