Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Ring to Make them Cry....

an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.

When my dad died my mother wanted each of us, kids, grandkids, kid-in-laws, to have something of his. She took us in to their room one by one trying to go from oldest to youngest though there was a little skipping of the line in there...

When she brought me in she asked what I wanted. I didn't hesitate for a second. His ring. She knew which one I meant, it was THE ring. But it was lost. She couldn't find it anywhere hadn't seen it in ages. I took a belt buckle instead. But it wasn't the ring. Though when I mentioned it in front of my other siblings my oldest brother said, "Oh yeah, I would like to have that too." So even if it were to be found I wasn't getting my father's ring. Which made me cry. Though to be fair everything made me cry that weekend. You tend to do that when your dad dies.

Fast forward about 3 years. Talking to my mother on the phone and she says she's got a package she had wanted to send to me. She found my dad's ring. And just as I got excited she said, "But I lost it." It was there. I almost had it. (not sure why me and not my brother, but my guess is because it's all I wanted and he had other things) But it was gone again. And I cried again. Not because of not getting the ring, just from thinking about my dad. I still do that sometimes.

My dad wasn't a real big guy. Somewhere around 5'9" and 5'10" but he was solid. Not fat at all but thickly built. (now you all know why I struggle with weight, I always weigh more than you would think, I'm freaking solid as all get out) As much as I loved my dad I never held hands with him. Ever. I held fingers. Even by the time I was a teenager my hands were too small to really hold his. I would wrap my fingers around his thumb or his ring finger and that's how I held hands with my dad. Most girls have their fathers wrapped around their fingers, my father had me wrapped around his.

And when I think of that, when I think of holding my dad's finger, I think of the ring. He had the ring and a matching watch for as long as I can remember. They were as much a part of him as cowboy boots and hats. Big solid turquoise and silver pieces. It lent a lot to how often he was mistaken for Native American, I think. It just fit him. But when I think of my father's hands, I think of thick, solid, hands. I think of calluses and grease stains from working on the car, I think of tan lines around his watch band and I think of that ring. It's larger than life. It's part of my dad. I loved it. And it was gone.

So sitting in my mother's house a few weeks ago and she brings me out a box with some things she has for me. There is a necklace. There is a bracelet that is supposed to go with the necklace. She had given my sisters each one just like it but with different stones. Mine were rubies because I love rubies. And there was a ring box which I had to assume was a ring that matched the necklace and bracelet.
It wasn't.

I cried. Instant and straight to ugly. My father's ring. My mother was telling me it needed cleaned and repaired and the stone is cracked, that always seems to happen with turquoise and I could probably get that fixed as well as some of the silver work that has been broken off and...And I just cried. It's perfect. I don't want it cleaned. I don't want it fixed. The crack in the stone has been there so long I'm not sure I would have recognized it whole. 

I took a picture and posted it online and talked about crying over it. I took it out in the hotel room just to hold it over and over again. Still not sure it was real, I guess. And now I have it sitting next to my computer in the office. I pull it out of the box and hold it. One of these days I will be able to do that without crying. Today is not that day. 

It's heavy. This is not a dainty ring.

My finger swimming in the ring. 

Not even on my thumb.

It's big. But it's bigger than that.

It's pretty much everything.

Dirty, worn, broken but still whole. It's had a hard life. And it's beautiful. And perfect. And I can wrap my fingers around it and hold it close.

It's as much of a piece of my father as I could ever hope to have again.

It's everything.

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