Monday, January 27, 2014

Grandmother's Wedding Band

Wedding Band by midgefrazel
Wedding Band, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.
It is not easy to take a photo of your own hand!

Wedding Remembrance

One hundred years ago, on this day, my maternal grandparents went to the parsonage and were wed. My grandmother told me it was a foggy day and it was a Tuesday. She told me that people did not make such a fuss over getting married as they do today and so she and her sister, and my grandfather and his brother, just got in the car and drove to the minister's house near the Episcopal church in Westerly. No parents were in attendance. There were no photographs taken. They went out to eat afterwards but that was it.

In late summer of 1971, I asked my grandmother if I could borrow her wedding band to take to have a replica made for myself. Much to my surprise, she looked at her left hand and slowly took off her ring. She handed it to me and told me my grandfather would have been surprised that I wanted it. She got up and rummaged in her desk and came up with her index card household inventory, the crop is of which is shown here. I was really stunned. I took it to Providence and had it cleaned and sized. I didn't want the inscription disturbed. They squeezed in S-M 11.6.71. My finger is sized three and a half. Do you like the cost of the ring in 1914?

She was wearing her ring when she fell and broke her kneecap and was taken to the hospital. I was about 8. Thieves broke into the house and took the contents of the safe including my mother's silver, my birth certificate and the diamond rings that my grandfather bought for her. I have no memory of those rings probably because she only wore them on special occasions. She knew my mother would have wanted those diamonds. My mother cried at the loss of her silver.

Nov. 6, 1971, photograph of us with my grandmother. My mother is on the far right.
I sent for a copy of the certificate of marriage and it is a "bare bones". It gives the correct date of January 27, 1914 and says it is in Book 3, Page 131 and that it was not filed until December 3, 1914 in Westerly, Rhode Island. My friend and cousin, Barbara Fallon went to the Westerly Town Hall and got the rest of the information that should have been included. They were married by the minister of the Episcopal church, the Rev. William F. Williams.

The band is a mix of yellow and rose gold and has beveled edges. It is very heavy for such a small ring. I like taking it off and letting people look at it.

I am hoping that my grandparents are celebrating in the life beyond today and for the next hundred years to come.

My maternal grandparents are part of the February writing challenge so I decided to begin this week with this post. All stories should begin with a celebration. It is part of the inner light.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Oh what fun our virtual party is! I think it's lovely when a family keeps its jewelry and hands it down generation to generation. Beautiful ring set - love the rings.