Tonight I was talking to my dad on Sk.ype and I proudly told him I had gotten my grandmother's (his mother's) ring back from the jeweler. I asked if he wanted to see it, and he said sure, so I pointed the webcam at the Munchkin and ran upstairs to retrieve the ring. I came back and held it up in front of the lens, but the camera was having a hard time focusing on it, so I kept trying it at different angles and distances. I finally told my dad it was about as good as it was going to get, and asked if he could see it well enough. He said he could, and then he said, "That looks like grandma's ring all right."
All of a sudden, I had this sinking and awkward feeling in my stomach.
Me: She wore it for a long time, didn't she?
Dad: Yes, she did.
Me: Is it weird for you to see me with it, and wearing it?
I had never thought about the fact that my wearing my dad's mother's ring could possibly be awkward for him. The ring that his mother wore as she held him tight all those years, soothed him, baked and cooked for him. All of a sudden, it wasn't on her finger anymore, it was on mine.
When I had dropped the ring off to be repaired the first time, I called my dad as I was driving away from the mall to tell him.
Me (excited): So I just dropped grandma's ring off. They are going to fix the bottom and set it with white topaz. I thought the topaz would be significant because of grandma and grandpa living near and mining at Topaz Mountain.
Dad (not upset, but inquisitive): Why would you do that?
Me (bewildered): I told you I was going to when you gave it to me. I thought it would be nice to restore it.
Dad: What are you going to do with it when you get it back?
Me: Wear it. Why? Does that bother you?
He didn't seem to dislike the idea, so I just figured my dad was being a man, who didn't care much for sentimentality like I do. When I got the ring back the first time, I took a picture with my phone and sent it to him. He never replied, which isn't an indication of anything, he rarely replies to my texts these days because he has Parkinsons, which makes his hands shake, which in turn makes it hard to hit the little keys on the touch screen accurately. I did call him that night, and he said the ring was beautiful.
But even then, I didn't think about my wearing the ring from his perspective. The one of the little boy who had seen his mother wear that ring for many years.
I asked if he was okay with my wearing it, or if it was too weird to him. He assured me he was, and that it wasn't, but I still felt weird. Weird enough to not wear it? No way. That ring is gorgeous, and I just put some time and money into restoring it so that it could be appreciated again for the first time in years. Do you know how much I love showing it off and telling people it was my grandma's engagement/wedding ring?
Honestly, I think my dad really is okay with it. I think it just might have been a jolt initially and might have stirred up some memories for him. But I know he sees the ring the way I do, as something that can be passed down and treasured for generations. His mother lives on with that ring, and I am so honored to wear it and think of her often, and I do.