I am the oldest daughter of an oldest daughter, so my mother always told me that when I found a suitable suitor, I could have Grandmother's 1/3 carat diamond to use in my ring. When I was in college, my beau and I went ring-shopping a few times, browsing and joking about the "great diamond-buying conspiracy" so many of our peers went into debt for. One day, just before final exams, I found the the ring that sang for me. It had simple and graceful swoops and was smooth enough that it wouldn't catch when I put my hand in my pocket. I loved it.
We had a hard time catching the attention of a clerk in the store, who didn't believe that we wanted to buy instead of just look. Then he didn't believe we wanted it now instead of Jay coming back later to surprise me with it. He didn't believe we didn't want it sized (it fit perfectly), or that we didn't want a diamond to replace the customary CZ in the setting (Grandma's diamond was going there), or that we could pay cash for it instead of preferring a payment plan. I've never had so much trouble getting someone to take my money!
After it was purchased and we showed it to my parents, my mother guiltily admitted she had lost Grandma's diamond ring. We still left the CZ in my ring, and it sparkled just as bright for me - a reminder of our poor college student days.
I wore my rings every day and loved them. Jay wore his ring every day, and it made me happy to see his ring shine while he held my hand. When he died, 7 years after being diagnosed with cancer and 13 years after we were married, my ring got uncomfortable.
After about a week I took it off and examined it, only to find that the once-circular ring had been compressed into a smaller oval shape as I had maneuvered him and his wheelchair around the narrow hallways in our home . It squashed my finger and I couldn't wear it anymore. I took it to be cleaned and they offered to reshape the ring, but I liked it squashed. It reminded me that I had been a good wife all the way through to the end.
I cleaned the ring and shined up the brilliant little CZ. Now it lives in its original green velvet box, snuggled up next to Jay's ring. That's where they should be - together.