My father had been going through my grandmother’s things and he sent me her engagement ring. He also sent some little pieces of jewelry and some pictures. But it was the ring that had my attention. She was in her 90’s when she died so the ring has to be 70 years old or more. I was really drawn to it. It was as if I could feel her presence and my grandfather’s too. Wearing the ring made me feel connected to them, like I belonged to them, and to generations before them.
I had not seen my grandmother for years. She lived the last several years of her life with my father and stepmother. She knew nothing of the sexual abuse. I had never wanted to hurt her. But in the year or two before she died, I felt like I was probably hurting her anyway because I could never go to visit her. I was not comfortable visiting my father in his home. In fact, I felt quite anxious any time I ever thought about it.
Sometime in the year before she died, I sent her a note, telling her I thought about her a lot, and loved her more than she knew. Dad told me she really appreciated the note. I felt like I had taken the easy way out.
Now I look at the ring, and I realize that she knows everything now. And I hope and pray she forgives me for not being strong enough to go see her. And I am thinking she may even be proud of me now. She may be proud of the courageous granddaughter who is speaking out about the truth, refusing to keep the secret any more. And she now knows that I really do love her. And I always have.
I am keeping the ring. I will wear it as often as I can so I can feel connected to her. And so I can remember her and remember a part of my childhood that was good. For she was one who loved me unconditionally and never hurt me. Thank you, Mamie.