Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ring

My mom was and is very proud of her high school. Go Cardinal Dougherty Cardinals. Seriously they are the Cardinal's Cardinals. That is like having General MacArthur High School Generals. Redundant somewhat.

When my mom got married, she gave her class ring to her father. In the 50's this was some type of tradition (as was getting class rings and knowing your high school fight song and pep rallies). She was his odlest child and the first to get married. The idea being that she would replace her class ring with her wedding ring.

I can picture my Pop-Pop asking her, "Barbara, what am I supposed to do with this?"

"You are supposed to wear it dad. It will indicate that your daughter is married."

My grandfather's response was something like, "Barbara, I have ten daughters, if each one gets married I will have to wear ten class rings. I can't do that."

But my grandfather promised to hold onto the ring for my mom. Over the years the ring disappeared. Misplaced and forgotten. But not by my mom. Every now and then she would ask her father if he still had it. He did not know where it was.

Misplaced and forgotten.

My grandfather died 6 years ago. His wife, my Mom-Mom died two years ago. My aunt, who lived with them and cared for them, was responsible for settling their affairs. Slowly but surely she made sure that their final wishes were handled. She took her time removing their belongings, giving some items to charity and also making sure that each of their twelve children received the mementos that they each wanted.

Settling the affairs of two people who lived into their late 70's/early 80's, who had twelve kids and 37 grand children, and 30 plus great grand children, takes some time. The last thing my aunt needed to do was to clean out the basement of all my grandfather's tools. He had quite the collection. My aunt scheduled an "open house" for February 2008 for all of Pop Pop's grandchildren to come and take any tools they wanted.

A bunch of the grandkids and many of my siblings showed up to take various gadgets and tools. My siblings and I were still mourning the passing of my dad and the "open house" provided a good distraction. My grandfather was very organized and had multiple light switches and plates and outlet covers and connecters still in their orginal packages. He had every type of screw, nail, nuts, and bolts in little containers each marked with its contents. There was a ton of stuff.

My brother Jim eyed a clear container that was not makred and that was packed with fabric of some kind. He asked my aunt if he could open it and she said yes. Inside the container were old boy scout and girl scout patches that my aunts and uncles had all received. At the bottom of the container, wrapped in a patch, was my mom's class ring.

My dad, my mom's husband of 44 years, had died a month before. It was a very trying time for my mom. As the wedding vows go "til death do us part" and she was no longer a wife but a widow. She was no longer married. My brother Jim brought the class ring to my mom. She was thrilled. Like the ring's shape, it had come back full circle.

My grandfather, my mom's dad, did not misplace the ring. It was not forgotten. He was waiting for the right time to return the ring to my mom.

His timing was perfect.


My mom's birthday is July 4th. Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Marriage is a 3 ring circus...

Anonymous said...

I love old spice

Josh said...

Truly a touching story, and great timing for your mother. Happy Birthday to her.

Katrina said...

You are killing me here! (all choked up) What a wonderful story!

SciFi Dad said...

That was awesome. Really, what more can I say?

Patience said...

What a beautiful story! ~sniffle~
~smile!~

katia said...

well told. great story.

Teri said...

awwwwwww, Bill, that was a great story.

Happy birthday Mom-O-9!

Meegs said...

Aww, what a sweet story.

Happy Birthday Bill's Mom!!

Anonymous said...

Mom,

What William Said was from me too.

Williams Brother

Sudiegirl said...

What a sweet story! I was unaware of that tradition with class rings. I'm not even sure where mine is.

Stacie said...

Happy Birthday MomO9! I've long been a fan of yours.

wonderful story William!
Stacie

Sharkey said...

What Stacie said--pretty much exactly.

Happy birthday, Mom-O-9!

sari said...

this is terrific.

happy birthday to your mom.

sari said...

i'm sitting here listening to my itunes songs and Love by John Lennon just came on as I finished reading your post, perfect timing I think.

Dr Zibbs said...

Your mother wore your father's ring but do you know what your grandfather gave your grandmother? One of those round tire things that kids from days of old used to chase and push with a stick. It's a fact.

Carrie said...

damn you. I need to time my lack-of-checking better so I stop coming around when you have these tear-jerkers up.

seriously.

Happy birthday to your mom.

May she continue to be blessed this year with more heartwarming sentiments such as this from those who love her most.

Bogart in P Towne said...

So very cool. Happy birthday to your mother...that is such a great story.

TM '89 said...

Bill,
You're right. Your Pop-Pop was waiting for just the right time. It all happens for a reason.

Charity Donovan said...

Alrighty...I come to your blog for some humor with a side of sarcasm. Now I'm leaving with tears in my eyes! Not fair! Honestly, that was beautiful.

Mindy said...

That is an awesome story. I hope your mom has the best birthday EVER. :) You are buying her a new Mercedes, right?

Rachael said...

Dangit I am crying on my keyboard again. What a lovely story.

The Q said...

Happy Birthday MomO9!!

Thanks for making me tear up at work Bill.

kalki said...

Wow.

Happy birthday Mom09!

eclectic said...

Awwwww Bill, that's a great story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Tell your mom, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" for me, please.

Anonymous said...

you are like Kodak.

America's storyteller.

Stop blogging and get busy on the script. Of course, I will play me. and kleinscnitz will play the LW. and scaramango will play the viper.

Lowa said...

VERY cool!

Susie said...

Someone has called such occasions "God winks," i.e., when God is winking at us.

Great story, Bill.
Happy Birthday, MomO9!

JP said...

It is amazing the things others leave behind bring them right back to us, even if it's for a short time. Happy BDay Mom09!

Amanda said...

I have been reading your blog for about 3 years now. Hearing your stories and watching your 2 babies turn into little men.
That was truely the best story I have ever read. Your family is blessed to have such a wonderful person to share the history.

Lil Sass said...

That is SUCH a great story. I totally adore your family

PracticallyJoe said...

Great story "The Return of the Ring" ... Happy B-Day William's Mom!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mom09!

Mom09 rocks...and what a great son she raised...that Jimmy, what a guy! ;)

William, thanks for sharing your family with us!

Melissa

kimmyk said...

what a great story.
what a huge family too!!! wow. amazing.

happy birthday mom09!
enjoy your special day!


and anonymous-are you kidding me with that old spice crap? gah. get out. but yeah, reminds me of my grandpa and after he'd shave he'd smell nice. okay. you win.

Effie said...

Happy birthday Mom-o-9!

Great story Bill!

Aunt Jo said...

I have tears. what a great story

Happy Birthday Mom-o-Nine!!

PS Your son is very funny.

becky said...

I hate that you make me cry all the time...what a wonderful story

Mainline Mom said...

That's an awesome story. I am anticipating how much work it is going to be for me (the executor) to settle my grandparents affairs someday because they have two large houses (one in Houston, one in Boston) and a LOT of stuff. They never get rid of anything, including all my great-grandparents stuff. But I guess I should be really glad there are not a ton of kids and grandkids to try and divide stuff up. No kids anymore, just two grandkids. Happy Birthday Momo9!

Tismee2 said...

Sometimes things like that make you realise that we often don't know why suff like this happens - just that it tends to happen at exactly the right time.

bet she was thrilled.

Becky said...

Love it...

I hope to be married 50 years and celebrating with my 30 grand children some day!

:)
The Maid

Jen said...

Beautiful.

Ben & Bennie said...

What a brilliant story!

mrtl said...

Lovely story, as always. It's great to catch up. :)

amandalouden said...

what a nice story.

lfm said...

Wow..chills...and I'm totally welling up!!!

Maddy said...

Stunning timing indeed.
Very best wishes

Sue said...

What an awesome, awesome story, and what a wonderful way you have with words.

Mel said...

wow, Bill. nice post.

Undercover Mutha said...

Freaking bawling here.