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My Blog

The Family Ring Tradition

Good morning to all.  I hope that your weekend has fared well so far.  I have been busy completing projects.  I have been able to complete 4 projects to submit to teach for a national convention and will now, just keep my fingers crossed that at least one of them get accepted....but there are so many amazing artists and projects out there...I will just have to sit and wait!  I was able to be blessed with good weather for the past 2 days to be able to get the 2 roses I painted for my village varnished with 2 coats and dried before the rain storms hit.  Thank you God!!  I worked on the third rose....was able to finish the rose part and now all there is left is the base.  I was fortunate enough to receive the licensing from the NHL to do the Blackhawks on it...so there is a lot to consider on what to do on the base.  These rose will be displayed in the town for the summer and fall and then auctioned off for charities at a dinner in November.  I am hoping they make good money for that! 
Well, today's blog is about a very important part of my family's history. It is about a garnet ring.  Long ago, my grandfather's sister Frances was married.  she desperately wanted to become a mother.  The day finally arrived when she was blessed to know that she had become pregnant.  Her biggest dream was to have a little girl.  Well, all went well for the nine months of pregnancy and the time finally arrived for her child to be born.  This is where the story really begins.  Frances bore a child and unfortunately, there were complications.  Both mother and child died in the process.  In her memory, her garnet ring was asked to be worn in honor of every girl in the family.  So the tradition began.  The ring was decided to be given to each girl in the family at the age of 13.  I am not exactly sure why that particular age was chosen....perhaps there was a connection to the supposed bad luck of the number...which honestly didn't make sense, or the fact that at the age of 13, you were deemed responsible enough to treasure such an heirloom. 
Well, all of the girls that my grandparents had wore the ring, with my mother being the last of the girls to wear it.  My Grandmother became the "keeper" of the ring and held onto it until the next generation of children were born.  It turned out that there were only 2 girls born in the next generation which were my Sandy and myself.  At the age of 13....each of us wore the ring.  The ring is worn until the age of 21 or the next girl turns 13...whichever comes first.  My cousin was 10 years older than me, so she wore the ring until my 13th birthday.  Once I turned 21 the ring returned to my grandmother for safe keeping. 
Years went by, when one day at a dinner, my grandmother handed me the ring and told me that I she had decided that I was the only one who bore girls, that she thought that I should become the new keeper of the ring.  I was honored with her decision and kept it safe until it was time for my daughters to wear the ring.  Unfortunately, my eldest daughter only wore it for one year, since her sister was 12 months younger than herself.  My second daughter wore it for a very short time, but when she left home, the ring was not allowed to go with her. 
I kept the ring in a very safe place...and each time I opened the box, gave honor and respect for the woman who wanted so desperately to have a daughter.  I hoped that she was smiling down on the family, knowing that in some way...all these girls that wore that ring, wore it for her. That in some way, they were all honorary daughters. 
Well, five years ago, I presented the ring to my eldest granddaughter....talk about history repeating itself.  Here I am, the grandmother....the keeper of the ring.  Well, the time has come for the next granddaughter to wear the ring and so I know am preparing the ring for her to wear.  She is excited over receiving it as well as I am that she will wear it..  The next ring wearer is 8 years away.  I will wait to decide on who the next keeper of the ring will be. 
It is amazing how time has flown by.  How many girls have worn tat ring with pride and honor.  It is a priceless memory.  I am so pleased to be part of this family tradition and its history.  The ring is in its 5th generation of woman and hopefully will continue.  I pray that I am around to see it given to the 6th generation of girls.  Time will tell...but it the meantime...on the finger of the next young girl it goes.  
I love tradition....do any of you, my readers have any to share.  I would love hearing yours as well.  Perhaps mine will inspire you to start one or one of yours will spark a new one for me.   

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