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Day 42–Rings, Stones, & Hope

I realize as I was writing about my stone and petrified wood necklaces that it may seem a bit cooky, crunchy whatever you want to call it. I did. I used to abhor and make fun of people who liked crystals, rocks, etc…..I never felt it, I never got it. And so I am reminded of this story.

My grandmother, Nan died when I was ten years old. She was the first person I loved that died. Until she died, the idea of dying never occurred to me. It was a shock and just the raw pain of it all. I remember it and feel it. I sobbed for days and even now as I write I well up. I remember the love she had for me. She was a light in my life and thought I walked on water. It is amazing to be loved by another who loves you in such a way—I hope you all get to experience that. My wife loves me that way.

Over the course of my 10 years with Nan, she always told me she wanted me to have her engagement ring when she died. She told my mom and her two brothers and everyone that was around here. Nan did not leave a will. When she passed, my mother and her brothers fought about everything. One of my uncles changed the locks in the house she lived in within days of her passing and stated it was really his house. She had indeed signed over the house to him. He had helped her quite a bit with money for the house and she never told my mother or my other uncle about it. Anyway, the only thing they didn’t argue over was her ring. Nan didn’t have much and the ring was one of the few items she had to leave to anyone.

For years, I kept the ring in a special place and only recently do I wear it. I wear on special occasions, funerals, weddings, and when my mom has had surgery. Nan got this ring from a man who was abusive. He abused my mother and her brothers and even Nan. I wondered for years, why if this guy was so terrible did she cherish this ring so much and want me to have it. Then it came to me. This ring was a promise.

It was a promise of a better life. My Nan got this ring after having already left my grandfather who was beating her up when she was pregnant with my mom. This ring was a promise of a new start, a new beginning. It was a hope, a promise, a belief that things would get better. So whether you put on a diamond ring or an obsidian rock it is all about how you are connected to it or not. The jewelry is about what it symbolizes and what it inspires and connects in you. I used to wear a Claddagh ring to remember that I was Irish now I don’t need the ring because it is who I am. Maybe—that will be my next tattoo……What’s your favorite piece of jewelry and why?

p.s. Did you know the sky gets really blue just before the sun disappears for the night. It is that royal blue—not too dark, not too light. Just beautiful.

About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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