My mom had a ring that I constantly saw on her finger. I remember as a kid noticing this ring that I thought was beautiful on her right hand – so I knew it was different from the wedding rings she also wore always (both of my parents never took their rings off for the entirety of their marriage, and this ring also didn’t come off until she died). But this ring was different.
One time she told me the story behind the ring. When she first started working, she saw this ring in a store and decided it was beautiful and that she needed to have it. She saved her pay check from that job and then went into the store and bought it for herself. She wore it constantly as a reminder that she could do anything she set her mind to.
Those of you who knew my mom know that she did in fact do anything she set her mind to and constantly defied the odds. She was fortunate that she had my dad standing firmly in her corner, loving and supporting her- but she achieved what she did because of sheer strength, willpower, and determination.
After she had polio they told her she wouldn’t walk, so she walked.
On her crutches, with no stomach, back, or right leg muscles thanks to polio, she went to high school by herself in Florida, then to Stanford (including a semester in France), she went to law school, she gave birth twice. I mean it goes on.
And she said when she needed a boost, a reminder that she could do it, she looked at that ring and found the strength to keep going.
I now have that ring. And it comes to me at at time when I need to remember my strength, and when I need to believe in my ability to defy the odds and realize my own dreams.
It’s weird clearing out their house. It’s weird they aren’t here anymore. But it’s apparent that they left us a huge legacy of love. We always felt safe and loved in that house. That’s what home is supposed to be – your safe place. Thank God for home.