Several years ago, my Grandma was rushed into Intensive Care (not for the first or last time,) and she coded on the table during a blood transfusion. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I remember standing in the dining room at her house when I found out she had coded. I was taking care of my Grandpa (who is a stroke survivor,) after Grandma was admitted to ICU. Before I rushed out the door to the hospital, I grabbed a ring off of my Grandmas dresser and put it on my finger. It was a small gold ring with a beautiful opal stone (her birthstone) encased by two diamonds. I don't know why I put that ring on that night except that I felt a need to be closer to her. Over the following days, Grandma slowly recovered but I never removed the ring until she was taken home from the hospital. It became my good luck charm and a constant reminder of the special unconditional love that we shared.
After she recovered, I put the ring away into a jewelry dish in my bedroom. I never wear it. I'm terrified of scratching it or losing it. I attach too much emotion to items which has been a very deep struggle with my grief process because getting rid of things is very painful to me. I liked knowing the ring was safe and looking at it every day but it was FAR too treasured for me to wear it.
This morning, I woke up and remembered Thanksgivings of the past with Grandma. As tears welled up in my eyes, I just wanted to feel close to my Grandma again. I opened up the dish to find the opal ring so lovingly tucked away and I decided today would be a good day to wear it. As I pulled the ring out, I noticed immediately.... And my heart sunk... A diamond has fallen out of the setting. It isn't in the dish. I don't know when the last time I wore the ring was, nor do I remember where.
For years, I have treasured this ring as if I had searched the world for it. I have treasured it as if it had the power to bring back someone I loved more than the world itself. For years, I kept it lovingly and safely tucked away, hoping I could protect it forever.
The thing about life is that we don't get to keep things forever -- our youth, our homes, our memories, our loves... Even our rings. The thing about life is that those things are just as fleeting as we are. The thing I hate most about grief is that as we lose those things we love, our grief grows larger and in turn, takes even more. Each day I feel like I lose something else. It may just be a memory, a certain smell, a phrase my Grandma used to say.. I've broken the record player which was the last gift she ever gave me, and today I lost a diamond from the ring that once gave me hope where none existed. Tomorrow, I will lose something else.. Sometimes I feel like I am just drowning and there's no land in sight.
Today I am most thankful for having someone in my life who was always my life boat, my best friend, my mother, my grandma and my everything. Today I am missing her. And I lost a diamond, but I've lost much worse before.