Perfect Fit–Don’t Forget

There’s a void within the heart of a single woman that comes from having never received jewelry from someone who deeply cares…loves.  In the mid 90s I tried to fill that place after I finished my Masters in Special Education — I got a ring with my birthstone which happened to be the same color for the School of Education.  I was ecstatic.

For years,  I’ve been feeling that deep ache again…needing to know I was deeply loved. In May, upon completing another Masters, I began dreaming about another ring–maybe I could give money to the men in my family and have them buy it for me, but I’m a hopeless romantic and that much planning wouldn’t fill the void made the whole thing seem a bit clinical.  It was also that month that I was searching for my passport and I found my secret stash of ‘special jewelry’ money from birthdays and Christmases–I’d been saving for years, more than a decade. Then, my father gave me a little more to ‘buy something special’.  I knew I would find my jewelry on my upcoming trip to Europe.

Throughout Paris, I searched gift shops…jewelry shops…antique shops, but nothing seemed right, didn’t fit my desire.  I grew jealous of my sister and cousin who found their perfect jewelry at Versaille and Giverny.  After a few days, we meandered up to The Netherlands–our first stop: The Corrie Ten Boom home. I was describing the museum to my sister, “It still has the original jewelry shop as part of it,” I explained, my voice catching.

“That’s where you need to get your jewelry,” she insisted, eyes glistening.

“I know…that’s why I’m crying.”


After the museum tour, while my family was exploring Haarlem, I explored the jewelry options.  The shop was a tiny Dutch front and I had to go outside to see all that was available–then back inside; each time ringing the security entrance bell.

There were innumerable flashy new pieces, pearls, diamonds, but I was consistently drawn to the vintage rack, finally settling on a simple gold band with five diamonds–it was from my birth decade, but a little out of my price range.

The jeweler told me of the years he spent to become a goldsmith–this band was one of his favorite original designs.  I told him of the years I’d been waiting for a special ring (from a man), that my mom had died exactly a year prior.  My story moved him and, without my asking, or knowing my budget, he lowered the price…to the exact amount I had allotted.

He obliged and with much poise and gallantry presented me the ring…


wrapped it up in silver… I almost felt whole.

For months, I shared the story, showed the ring, unwrapped and wrapped the box again and again, but I never wore it. It needed to be resized and once someone commented, “I didn’t think it would be that small.”

I felt embarrassed about the little gold band, and the emptiness within me started to expand.

Four months passed. My niece was getting married in the wedding dress my mother wore, and to honor my mother I wanted to wear her wedding ring set.  I got the rings out of the black velvet pouch where they’d been for sixteen months, and they seemed familiar in a new way.  When I placed my mother’s rings next to my gold band, I knew why…the three bands were a complete set…whole.P1110231.jpg It was a design decades in the making, but I received jewelry from ‘someone’ who deeply cares…loves.


Three generations of wedding rings on ‘the’ wedding dress.


{From a song I’d been listening to since March}
You put the ring upon my finger,
You put the robe upon my back,
You throw your arms around me and say,
“You are my son, my daughter, don’t forget.” — John Thurlow


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