Friday, April 23, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Family Heirloom

I had a specific item I was going to write about. I guess it could be considered an heirloom and is promised to me (my Oma's cast-iron thing that she used on her gas-stove burner to heat up/toast flour tortillas for huevos con chorizo, among other things), but I realized I had no photos of it. Besides, it's currently packed in a box somewhere in my mom's basement.

Also, since I've talked about Oma's kitchen in another Memory Lane Friday, I think I'll talk about that particular kitchen item another time.

So instead, I'll talk about a piece of my Oma's jewelry that's been handed down to me.

This piece of jewelry was a ring actually made by someone my family, specifically for another person in the family. But since the intended person didn't much care for opal, it became my grandmother's.

The ring is gold and delicate looking and has a heart on each side. Since opal is so fragile, it had broken at some point and had fallen out . . . even with all the thought she put into caring for her jewelry.

When the opal broke at some point, she had the stone replaced with a blue topaz. I always thought it looked like the same color as turquoise, but clear and sparkly -  not opaque like turquoise.

I don't know how many years it had been the original opal, but opal was always her gem - she always seemed to wear a piece of jewelry with opal in it. And I remember this ring as an opal ring.

One day, however, when my grandparents were visiting, I saw her wearing a kinda familiar ring . . . a blue topaz ring.

I'm pretty sure I must've been on a school break - maybe Christmas break. I was in high school at the time.

We were in the mini-van one evening; one of my parents was driving. I was in the back next to Oma. I gazed at the ring and asked her about it, not recognizing it. She said she'd had it for a long time. But while it looked sort of familiar, something was different about it.

This is when she revealed that the opal had broken (she'd accidentally bumped her hand on something which is when the opal cracked and fell out). And this is when she had the blue topaz set into the ring.

And then she said she'd been intending on giving it to me. I was surprised. She said that whenever I was ready for it, she'd give it to me. Not thinking she meant right then and there, I asked, "Can I have it now?"

Without even making any kind of reaction, no surprise to her face at all, she took off the ring and handed it to me. Surprised, I put it on. Again surprised, I realized it fit! She and I had the same ring size.

And I've had it ever since.

I don't wear it often. Actually, it's been a while since I have worn it. But that's only because I hardly wear rings (not even my wedding set - but only because I take those rings off to clean the kitchen or give Livie a bath, or something, and then I forget to put them back on). I only wear them for special occasions. Besides, my hands are so dry and chapped right now, I'd be embarrassed to call attention to them by wearing a ring.

Please click on the box below to read today's other Memory Lane Friday posts.


varunner said...

Is that picture the actual ring? It's fantastic!

I didn't write about what I had in mind either. I got CENSORED! (mad!) Family drama (roll).

Sonya Heilmann said...

Yep, that's the actual ring! I have to say that it looks so fitting for my Oma's finger!

Shannon said...

That's a beautiful ring, Sonya. Love that she just handed it over, just like that. Great story.

Sonya Heilmann said...

Shannon, I was surprised AND glad she handed it over, just like that. When I asked if I could have it now, I thought she'd say something like, "You can have it for Christmas (or birthday or graduation)." So it was an extra special surprise.

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