Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Story About Names and Rings

My name has been a blessing and a little bit of an annoyance throughout my life, but mostly just a blessing. For those of you who aren't in the know my name is spelled Maria, but pronounced Mariah. Apparently it's a Norwegian thing, but you try going to school in New Mexico and explaining that to your classmates who are more familiar with Mexican names than Norwegian. Of course when I was little the name was pretty rare and truthfully it still is. When I hear my name called out in public I immediately answer "Yeah?" I never even consider that there may be another person with my name, although there are a few others spread around the country.

My name is now very precious to me, a big part of who I am, but it's an inherited name. I am named in honor of my great grandmother. For all of my life she has been a mysterious figure from the past, a woman unknown to me, but genetically linked. I have a few stories and a very general idea about who she was, what her interests were. I have always wondered about her; what were her dreams? her happiest times? her favorite past times? We are linked by names and genes, but not by time.

When I was preparing to marry Eric my Grandma Carol gave me a small ring, set with a simple piece of amber, that had once belonged to my great grandmother. The ring itself is quite simple and just my style, but more than anything it is a direct link to the woman whose name I've been using for all of these years.

Grandma Maria's ring
Ring from my Great Grandma Maria

I wore that ring every single day until one day the prongs came loose and the tiny piece of amber went flying. I searched and searched, but to no avail. I was nothing short of devastated. How could it survive all of these years and then be destroyed by me? I tucked the empty ring away, hoping to have it repaired someday.

My sweet husband went and bought me an amber ring in an attempt to ease the pain. I was touched by the loving gesture and wore that ring until it too broke! I am not hard on rings it was just a weird year for rings apparently. I also tucked away that ring hoping that I would someday repair it as well.

Ring from Eric
Ring from Eric

For some reason I assumed ring repair cost millions of dollars and I just waited for that day when I would be wealthy enough to fix them both. Well, that day has come (total cost to repair both rings $30) and now the rings are back on my fingers and perhaps one day there will be another Maria with two amber rings to link her to the past.


daphne said...

Love the sweet story. I have a lot of jewelry from my great-grandmother too (and an unusual name, too!) -- such sentimental value!

AKM said...

What precious heirlooms, now and for the future! Amber is beautiful.

As far as the name pronunciation goes, do you ever tell people to watch _Paint Your Wagon_? ;-)

Pam Brewer said...

When I wear a piece of jewelry that belonged to a now departed dear relative I feel an aura of their presence.

Hello Lindello said...

so pretty!

Amber is so beautiful.

kirsten said...

What a neat story.

Keia Kato-Berndt said...

This is such a great post, the history is so great.

as for having an unusual name, I had a similar situation growing up with a japanese name pronounce Kay-ah, when everyone insisted on pronouncing it Kee-ah. Anyway, still haven't met anyone with the same name yet.

Tammie said...

ooh what a lovely story. youre so lucky to have a little bit of a link to the past like that.

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