The day after my mother passed away my father wanted to bring all of her jewelry to the safe deposit box.
I was assigned the task of sifting through the tower of jewelry boxes to separate the costume from the sentimental from the genuine articles.
When I was done I was a sobbing mess curled in the middle of my parents king sized bed.
I lay clutching a red leather box in one hand....and in the other my mother's engagement ring.
From the time I was very small I was always fascinated by it. She didn't wear it often but when she did oh how I was drawn to it! "Sparkle plenty" she would say, waving her fingers so the diamond would catch the light. She wore it when they went out, or for a special occasion with a matched diamond wedding band. It was dazzling.
A far cry from the plain gold braided band that adorned her finger on most days.
When my sobs began to subside I held it up to the winter sun streaming through the window. It's prisms danced across the bed spread as I turned it this way and that. I examined it from all sides and tried to memorize it's every facet while picturing it on her hand.
It left an imprint in my palm from how tightly I squeezed it. Blood from a stone; tears from a diamond; I felt like I was letting the last little bit of her go when I returned it to it's box. I brought the humble pile of jewelry to my father and fell so deep into depression that there was no light. There were no prisms for longer then I can even remember.
Eventually, I healed. Slowly. I forgot the rings size, it's sparkle, it's details. I reached a point where if asked I could only assure its existence but nothing else.
That was until I found myself sitting on a piece of driftwood on the northern California coast. I felt Then Future Spouse shift beside me and I looked over to see him perched on one knee.
He held a red leather box in his outstretched hand; nestled in it was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. My mothers ring. My ring.
He said wonderful things. I said yes and cried. It was more then I ever thought that moment could have been.
Unlike my mother I wear it everyday. Even filthy from soap scum and lotion it still flashes in the sun. Clean; it could blind you. It still dazzles me.
Riley loves to finger it, she says "prewwy" and tries to pull it from my hand. I tell her how much her grandmother would have loved her, that the "pretty" is a piece of her. I tell her to have patience. Someday...a day further away from today then either of us could ever imagine it will be hers.
Because that is how I want it passed on. From mother to daughter. Sparkle plenty.