Friday, May 22, 2009

All Grown Up

The opportunity finally arrived.

Opening my jewelry box, the black velvet cavernous mouth revealed to me its' wares. A quick scan, then a plucking of the desired piece into my hand.

I held it for a moment. The stone was larger than I had remembered, and the slightly lackluster band was merely evidence that the ring had been lovingly worn. I bent over the sink, gently and with care, buffing up the shine with a jewelry cleaner.

I slipped the ring onto my finger, surprised at the fit. I had forgotten I'd worn it on my middle finger. What was too large on the ring finger of my right hand was, at one time, the perfect size for the ring finger of my friend. My mind travelled to memories that quickly translated into tears.

There we were, now 10 years ago, each facing single parenthood, each with four children. My new next door neighbor and I, by default, found ourselves each others' support system. The path between our homes became the link to a trusted friendship, a babysitter, a laugh, a venting-place, a cup of sugar, and a midnight cry for help.

When, at that midnight cry, cancer sought her life, we faced it together - laughing in the face of travesty, and praying through it all.

During those dark days the reason I had purchased the ring for myself in the first place - a reminder of my value in the eyes of the Lord, that of a virtuous woman, whose price is far above rubies - gave way to the knowledge that the real woman of virtue was my friend, Angela Nanette. I gifted her the ring, speaking words of edification to her that her husband-to-be would certainly praise her.

It was an honest and sincere gift. One I never expected to receive back.

As she entered the final weeks of her life, I defended my gift with vigor - only to acquiesce at her insistence that I now be the recipient of her blessing me.

With great sorrow of heart, I took the ring, and determined in that moment that it would go to her oldest daughter Allison.

I fought back the tears by blinking rapidly, and moved on.

*****

The stadium was large and packed with people. Families from the coast, seeking to wish their graduate well, poured into the arena after the commencement exercises. Aubrey and Keller and I joined the fray, hoping we'd find her before she left.

I prayed a silent prayer, asking the Lord to aid me in my quest.

It was as if the Red Sea parted. There she stood, before us, searching the crowd as well, seeking those she knew.

"Allison?!" I spoke, and she whirled around in her finery. As her eyes gave way to comprehension, she leaped about my neck, exclaiming with delight.

For the next three minutes, it was as if no one else were in the room. Angela Nanette's daughter opened the small gift, then looked quizzically at me as I began to tell her the story . . .




5 comments:

Dawn Sodini said...

Wow! You've left me teary and speechless!

Charlotte said...

For 2 days, everytime I tried to view your blog, the internet would shut down. I am so glad that I persisted and that it finally worked. What a sweet story and a wonderful thing to do for your friend's daughter.

Robin's Reports said...

Angi,
I've followed your blog through SL forums, then bloglines for a couple years now. I'm no longer on SL but still try to keep up with hs friends.

Anyhow, I just had to comment about how sweet and dear this story is. What a moment. What a memory. What a treasure.

Thank you for softening my heart until it melted tears.

Robin of FL

Kim & Dave said...

Brought tears to my eyes, Angi! Wonderful post!!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift, both the ring and the memories you've brought to life; I can see Angie smiling over what you did for Allison - I know she'll treasure it.

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