Sunday, 8 May 2016

#whimword - Ring

The ring was given to me by my grandmother, a family heirloom. No one knew how old it was. It had been in the family longer than anyone could remember; my grandmother’s grandmother had given it to her and she’d received it from her grandmother.
It was old. Unspeakably so.
Family rumour held that should the ring ever leave the family’s possession then disaster would fall. The stories were vague on what manner of disaster, but it would be a disaster nonetheless. Perhaps the loss of the ring would result in a death, or the ruination of the family fortune.
My task then was to act as the ring’s custodian, to ensure its safekeeping. Easy enough, or so I thought.
I had not reckoned on the ring having a mind of its own.
The ring was too small for my finger, so I usually wore it on a chain around my neck, assuming it would be safest next to my skin. I would frequently find that it had somehow slipped its chain, or that the chain itself had come undone. The discovery would be followed by a frantic search for my prized possession, lest I disappoint the entire family with my carelessness. More often or not the ring would turn up within a few hours, in my bed or the sink or in a pile of papers I’d been looking at.
I was thankful that it never seemed to go far.
Once the ring went missing for an entire week, during which time I lost my job, my father passed away and my long term girlfriend left me for another woman. When I finally found it (down the back of the sofa) I nearly sobbed with relief.
I made sure to keep a much closer eye on it from then on.
But still it would occasionally escape from me.
After the death of my father my mother broke her silence concerning the ring. She spoke of how grateful she was that she had been skipped over as custodian (the ring was always passed down grandmother to granddaughter and our family always bore daughters) and told some stories of her own mother’s trials in keeping the ring.
It seemed that that was part of whatever deal had been made in the mists of time immemorial; our family would prosper so long as we could keep hold of the ring, but the ring itself would not make that task easy. My mother believed that a spirit had somehow been trapped within the simple gold band and that’s what gave the ring a life of it’s own.
When my mother passed I misplaced the ring for a whole year during which I almost died of meningitis. My daughter found and returned it to me. She nursed me back to health.
Truly the day I adopted her was the best of my life.

One day I would pass the ring to the daughter she would undoubtedly have and our family would continue to flourish.

No comments :

Post a Comment