By Vickie Rubin
As a young girl, I wore the ring on my ring finger; now, as an adult it fits beautifully on my pinky. The piece was handed down from my Grandma Frances to my mother and then to me.
The gem is a vintage design, possibly 100 years old, made from rose gold with shiny red garnets and a center diamond; it is my favorite and has been mostly worn every day for more than five decades.
The ring has a history of loss but has always turned up. The first time was in the 1960s as I grew up on Long Island. At the time, the ring fit the fourth finger of my 10-year-old hand and was a cherished piece of “real jewelry.” Unfortunately, the ring went missing for close to two years. We searched high and low, only to come up empty. Two years later, it was mysteriously found by Mom on a random search of my toy closet.
I kept the ring close to my finger until 1973. We were skiing in Vermont and as I entered the lodge, I removed my glove, only to discover that my rose gold band was missing. Panic set in. Was it covered under the snow, stuck on a random chairlift or lost in the street? The possibilities were endless. Mom sprang into action to find the ring.
Mom eventually found the glistening gem jammed into a metal grate in front of the entrance door. It had been clomped on by multitudes of heavy ski boots, yet had no damage.
The ring and I were pretty solid for the next eight years. We went to college, met my husband, got married and moved to Buffalo, and by then the gem was a solid fixture on my pinky; no longer fitting the traditional ring finger.
Mystery and intrigue arrived again in 1981. I was 24 and my husband and I were playing a sport each Friday night called broomball, a winter team sport that resembles ice hockey and is played on an ice rink. We arrived home one Friday night to discover that my cherished ring was missing, again. The same dread simmered as I looked everywhere. I never really gave up because in my mind the ring had superpowers and would turn up, but where?
The following week, we were back on the ice rink when one of the men on the broomball team asked the group if anyone lost a ring because he found one in his gym bag. Really? I wasn’t near his bag, which he had left on the floor near the bench.
It is now 2020 and I still wear the ring every day. My grandmother passed away in 1980 and as the end of her life drew near, she no longer had any recollections or voice. It was a sad ending to a beautiful life.
My mom passed away on Feb. 6, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.
In May, our family was visiting Mom at her home in Florida and she was trying to tell me something. Mom kept saying “she, she” but was frustrated that she couldn’t complete the sentence.
Mom had so much to say but struggled to put her thoughts into spoken word. I found a napkin and a pencil and asked Mom to write down what she wanted to say. She wrote “I LOVE VICKIE” in capital letters. I will always cherish this act of love.
I will also cherish the ring and the memories it carries, and my hope is that I do not lose the memories as my mother and grandmother before.
Vickie Rubin, East Amherst, cherishes her connection to her late mom and grandmother.