My Grandmother’s Rings (+ update)

Image description: Photo of the author wearing a polka dot headscarf, 50’s style makeup, sunglasses, cardigan, and silver brooch of angel wings standing against a blurred downtown background.

I see my last post was in September 2021. Some writers post once a week, or once a month. Right now, once a year seems daunting. So, before the deadline speeds by, here’s a post!

I’ve been thinking about my grandmothers lately. I found this quote that sums things up well:

“It’s possible to love your grandmother for years and years without really knowing anything about her.” -Fredrik Backman

Last Christmas my mother gave me her mother’s high school class ring. My grandmother didn’t graduate high school, but somehow, she had a class ring. Last week my dad gave me his mother’s wedding ring. Once my aunt can go through the many boxes that are now in her basement, I will get my grandmother’s wedding dress as well.

Both the rings fit me astonishingly well. When I take them off, they feel like ghosts.

Of course, I’m not going to wear them. They’re over fifty years old, proper antiques, and hold even more sentimental value. I don’t want them to get lost or beat up in the outside world. They are tucked away somewhere safe and quiet.

Even though I own them now, I’ll never hear their secrets. They were once everyday objects in the lives of the women who came before me. They held hopes and dreams, and they were placed carefully away from the sink drain each morning and night. The days and nights and years and decades flew by. Until one day, they were empty, placed aside for one last time.

No, I never knew my grandmothers as well as I could have. My mother’s mother passed away when I was five, and most of the memories I have of her are dreams in which she appeared. My father’s mother was in an institution due to her schizophrenia by the time I was in high school and many of the memories I have with her might more accurately be described as ghost stories. She passed away in 2020, after a very, very long goodbye.

I know they had goals and wishes for themselves that this life was far too short to bring about. They had their battles and victories, but also many tragedies and defeats. This is the world we live in. This is the world in which we pass on our few precious possessions to the next life waiting in line, to keep a part of our story in a safe, quiet place, away from the rest of the world.

I say I haven’t been writing lately because I have been busy. Which is true. Working a full-time job and getting my master’s degree (May, 2023, here I come) is not the best for keeping a regular writing schedule. I’ve also been very sick. I’ve had five surgeries in the past two years and I’m finally just getting to the point where I feel almost normal again.

Ultimately though, writers have a responsibility to write from their scars, not from their wounds. I took some time to heal a few things, lest some emotional stitches be ripped out along with the physical ones.

But! I have been writing a little. A piece of mine has been accepted to a new lit journal that will be published in October. I am also in the editing stage of a second poetry collection I hope to publish by the end of the year. (If you want to read my first, it is available here.) I have a few projects still in the works that I am absolutely not giving up on and I can’t wait to share them with you.

I do believe 2023 will be better for my creative projects. Until then, I have a new reason to keep looking forward.

When everything feels overwhelming and painful, I’ll hold two gold circles in the palm of my hand, and keep moving toward my hopes and dreams, while it’s still my time to do so.

‘Til next time. -AV

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