Family Jewels: My Aunt’s Favorite Ring

One of the most special people in my life was my Aunt. She taught music to school children and always seemed full of energy and humor. I was born on her birthday and she and I shared a special bond. When I was just learning to speak, I pronounced my name “Audi”. That name stuck with her and, once I had outgrown it, she was the only person I allowed to still use it. I was old enough to be the flower girl at her wedding and many years later she was overjoyed to celebrate mine.

Aunt and Uncle had no children of their own; so whenever we saw them, we always made sure to have some special time together. With Aunt, this often included singing some songs. She had a lovely voice and knew plenty of kid friendly music.

She and my uncle had classic taste. Their house was full of antiques which they collected at weekend auctions or estate sales. Her wardrobe consisted of turtlenecks and sweaters ordered through the LL Bean catalog- nothing flashy or fancy. Her jewelry, on the other hand, was where she made her statement. Sapphire was her birthstone, but she also loved rubies and emeralds. Uncle was pleased to surprise her with beautiful pieces he had found at some of the sales they attended.

She would walk into the house wearing a navy turtleneck with dark pants and a sweater, but she would sport pearl earrings and a sapphire and diamond ring on her hand. As a kid, her cheery smile and warm hug as I rushed into her arms was what really mattered to me.

Sadly, her life was cut short by lung cancer. By that time I had children of my own and their memories of her are as an ill person who tried to be friendly  between coughing fits. I have tried to pass on some of the songs she sang to me and create  a different picture of her for my kids.

A few years ago, my uncle decided it was time to pass along some of Aunt’s jewelry. I have two sisters who were equally close to her. Uncle sent us a package to go through together. Some things were for us to sort out ourselves, others were specifically earmarked by him for one or another of us. This sparkling sapphire and diamond ring was one of her favorites and Uncle thought I should have it since Aunt and I shared a birthday.

It means a lot to me. Whenever I look at it, I think of her. I remember her bright smile and optimistic outlook on life. At Christmas, I sing one of the school children songs she taught.  I miss her on our birthday and often shed a tear. I would gladly give her ring back in exchange for another cheery hug. As beautiful as this ring is, it could never replace her.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 11:52:26

    Along with that lovely ring, you have many memories – and memories are treasures that will never be lost. How great that you had such a wonderful lady in your life!

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  2. themiddlegeneration
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 12:10:05

    I am grateful you can appreciate my posts of the family memories I have. I promise to only do 1 or 2 more in this category.

    Like

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  3. stmarco
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 14:20:30

    Wonderful to read this!

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    Reply

  4. themiddlegeneration
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 15:07:30

    I thought you’d like it. Isn’t that a great picture of her?

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    Reply

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