Dad decided to bury Mom’s engagement ring with her. His choice.
My most vivid memories of Mom, and that ring, are of her sitting quietly in the pews of the Presbyterian church. Admiring her ring. Moving it, so that the stone caught the light.
It was a solitary diamond, set in silver. Traditional. My parents were the traditional type. She wore it on the outside of the thin band Dad gave her, back in the 50s. I believe they got engaged at Christmas. Very traditional.
I have a copy of a photo somewhere which shows them, together, near a decorated tree, presumably taken at Mosu and Mama Buna’s. Dad is all smiles, in a suit and, already, the bow ties he became known for. My Uncle Bob had already joined the family, by marrying Dad’s youngest sister. So Dad had already acquired the nickname that Bob gave him. Bob loved Bugs Bunny, and, thanks to the GI Bill, Dad had a Masters. “Doc” it was. Then, when Bob and my auntie’s children arrived, “Uncle Doc”.
In the photo, my mother is shining. Her mother made all her clothes back then, so everything fitted her just so. Years later, at an anniversary do, one of her other sisters-in-law would comment that my mom was always beautifully dressed.
My parents wedding do was a dull affair, judging from the photos. It was Baptist, and teetotal. A reception of cake, and chat, and little else. Years later, I attended a few like that, down in Tennessee, where my mother’s parents came from.
Much later, when my cousins on Dad’s side got married, the wedding dos were much more exciting. These were parties, involving alcohol, sit down dinners, speeches, dancing, and a chance to see what a few of my extended family were like when they had a glass or two, or how excited one of my aunties could get about the “Hokey Pokey” – what I later learned to call the “Okey Cokey”.
It doesn’t do a thing for me, under either moniker.
Back now to Mom, sitting in that pew, using her ring to redirect the sunlight which is filtering through the coloured glass of an otherwise fairly colourless, Protestant church. She once told me that she did that when she was bored by the sermon.
Shine your ring at me, Mom. Let it shine, across the endless waters of life, and love, and death.