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.

7 comments:

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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