Growing up, my mom always told the stories of our births as miracles. She conceived Kip, my older brother, with her uterus turned inside out. It was a miracle that he was born. When I was born, it was a miracle that we both lived. She was told she would never have anymore children after me, so when she conceived Kade, my younger brother, seven years later, well, it was a miracle! So growing up we were told that we were miracles that God had given to her to raise and love. Little did we know that we too, would get a miracle from God. These memories were brought forth today in the form of a brown package.
My doorbell rang this morning and there was some confusion getting to the door only to find that no one was there. As I walked away, I noticed the UPS truck driving off, so I went back to the door and found a package on my porch. I knew this was from my mom and contained 2 small gifts for the kids, something my mom wanted to give Allie and my birthday gift. I was a bit befuddled by the latter, as we don't do birthday gifts for adults anymore.
I opened the box and checked that everything was there. Next, with Jack looking over my shoulder I opened my birthday present. Inside were my mother's wedding ring and the dinner ring she had made out of my Grandmother Riley's first wedding ring. (I say first because Clovis was married 4 times in all.) I was stunned. This was the last thing I expected to find in this little box. I couldn't understand why.
I called my mom, she asked that I call the minute I got the box, now I realize why! I began to cry. So many thoughts. Why was she giving me these now? What did this mean? Was she foreseeing her death? What was going on? But the reason was quite simple. Her hands have become so arthritic that she can no longer wear the rings. So she wanted to be able to give them to me now and see me enjoy them.
But, there is something eery about wearing these rings. My hands suddenly look more like my mom's than mine. They bring memories of holding her hands and twirling her rings. Taking them off and trying them on. They bring memories of hospitals where I sat twisting these rings around my fingers waiting impatiently for her to emerge from surgery.
My mom and I are best friends. We talked on the phone at LEAST once a week. Then about 6 years ago, mom stopped making sense on the phone. She sounded drunk. She talked of falling. She talked of bruises. She talked of not knowing where she was. I went to her and brought her home with me. That began the hardest period of my life. Over that 6 months, I slowly grieved the loss of my best friend. There were no more long talks about her life, my kids, decorating, life. She was a shell of a woman. Then a miracle happened. She woke up. As if from a dream, or nightmare. She went back to Texas, and slowly, gradually has become whole.
Yet, just recently have she and I begun to talk once a week again. It has taken me almost 5 years to trust that my mom is really here.
And now she has entrusted me with her wedding ring and the diamonds my Pop gave my grandmother. I will take in all the memories, joyous and painful, and will wear these rings with great pride.
These rings will remind me of the miracle that is my mom.