My Nana (my mother’s, mother’s, mother) was an amazing little woman. She was born in January of 1900 and live do be 97 years old. Having seen nearly an entire century gave her an wonderful perspective on things and she had this way of making everyone she came into contact with feel accepted and loved.
When I was little I always looked forward to going to Nana’s house because I knew she had a candy jar and she would offer me a piece as soon as I came in. She had a display case full of figurines and music boxes from her travels all over the world and I would sit in front of it looking at all the knick-knacks for what seemed like hours. She would tell me stories about the places where she got them and the people she met. Her home overlooked the entire Salt Lake valley and I looked forward to walking out on the balcony and taking in the view. Visiting her was always very special.
Nana was five feet tall, although she always claimed that when she was young she was 5’6” and that she had shrunk. She was very healthy and happy until nearly the end of her life and she was an important part of mine.
When Nana died, my grandmother, Nadine, inherited Nana’s wedding ring which Nana had worn along with her husband’s on a chain around her neck when it would no longer fit her finger. One day just after Joe and I had announced to my grandparents that we were going to get married my grandmother asked to talk to me. She asked me if I had an engagement ring and I told her that we had not bought one yet. Joe and I had both just recently returned from missions for our church and we didn’t have a lot of money. I was not really interested in having us go into debt for a ring and we hadn’t decided what to do. My grandma then told me that she wanted to give me Nana’s diamond for my ring. I was completely overwhelmed by the gift. Not just because of the monetary value, but because it meant I would always have something to remember my Nana by. Joe and I were able to pick out my ring and Nana’s diamond was mounted in it – giving me exactly what I wanted and a very special gift.
Today I threw my ring and Nana’s diamond in the garbage can in my kitchen. I was an accident of course. I was making cookies and I’m usually very good at placing my ring in a specific spot on the windowsill when my hands are dirty, but for some reason this time I left it on the counter and when I cleaned up it was swept into the garbage. As soon as I realized it was gone I started frantically searching the kitchen. I looked on the counters, the floor, and even in the garbage disposal. I quietly said a prayer that I would be able to find my ring and soon realized I would have to search the garbage. I took a few things off the top and figured I would need another bag to move things to, so I got another bag and was just about to transfer a mostly empty can of pineapple tidbits when it slipped out of my hand. When it hit the floor my ring rolled across the room. I was so thankful to have found it, tears filled my eyes.
The sad thing is that this isn’t the first time I’ve lost my ring. I’ve misplaced it a few minor times and once I was literally sitting in a Broadway show when I noticed it was gone, only to find it in the finger of my glove. The only other time I really thought it was gone was while I was pregnant with Brad. It was summer and I was very pregnant and my fingers were huge and puffy. I had moved the ring from my ring finger to my pinky because it was just too tight. I was walking back to my office from lunch when I suddenly looked down and realized it was gone. Being pregnant and overly emotional probably didn’t help the situation and I totally panicked. I back-tracked to the cafe I had eaten at and asked the man behind the counter if he had seen it and he replied that he had not, however he knew I had been wearing it when I came in because he specifically noticed it on my pinky finger. I walked outside and began looking around the sidewalk table where I had been sitting to eat when a random man sitting on a bench asked me what I was looking for. Choking back the tears I told him that I had lost my wedding ring. He said “Look in your purse. My wife always loses hers when it drops into her purse.” I opened my purse and sure enough Nana’s diamond was at the bottom.
I love my wedding ring. It’s beautiful and the simple band suits me. I love that it symbolizes the commitment Joe and I have made to each other for eternity. I also love that the diamond came from someone else I loved and that loved me. I can’t help thinking each time I’ve lost the ring that Nana has had something to do with helping me find it. Whether it’s placing someone with good advice on the street at just the right time or making me drop the pineapple can, or maybe it’s providing me a feeling of comfort during a particularly difficult day, I’m grateful to have my Nana watching over me.