Drew’s mother passed away much too young, leaving behind a very special diamond ring. Her beloved husband gave it to her—a nearly flawless two-carat stone—on their 30th wedding anniversary. I remember she said she never imagined she would be given anything so beautiful.
I never understood when I was a young girl that heirloom jewelry is something that lives through you. It belongs to you only for a time, and becomes a part of others’ memories of you. Then it lives on long after you’re gone. It takes those thousands of memories with it, so they can live in the new owner—someone who loved you.
Drew’s mom was specific that our daughter Chloe would be given this beautiful stone. She was only three at the time of her grandmother’s death, and in our grief we put the ring in our safe deposit box where it has lived for the past three years. For a while, it almost hurt to look at it.
But time does heal all wounds. Last month I decided to get it out. Chloe is now six years old, and I want her to have memories of this stone. Just like I never knew Drew’s mom without this ring, we want Chloe’s memory of this stone to be of me wearing it for the whole of her childhood. She won’t know me without it, until we give it to her on behalf of her grandmother.
I photographed this beautiful ring just before I had the wonderful Thomas Hunn take the diamond out of the setting to put into a necklace.
“I’ve never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I’m here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty.”