life lessons

Remember the Ring: An Allegory

Part 1

When Sabina was born, her grandmother was smitten. For several months, Grammy B (as she decided she wanted to be called) had been anticipating the birth of her first granddaughter. Just minutes after she arrived into the world, she held her close and promised her the world.

At her naming ceremony, a few days after Sabine’s birth, Grammy made a heartfelt dedication to her 7-day old granddaughter. She shared her hopes and dreams for her future and gave her parents a special ring that she’d had made just for her. “This ring is a symbol of the love I have for my granddaughter Sabina. May she always know how much her Grammy B loves her.”

Her parents promised to give the ring to Sabina on her 12th birthday. Even before then, though, Sabina always knew of the ring. She wasn’t allowed to play with it, but sometimes her mom would take it down from its place of safekeeping and show it to her.

It was a unique ring with a brass bee charm dangling from a sterling silver band with beautiful scroll detail.

Grammy B was active in Sabina’s life. She would take her to museums and special brunches. Sabina would spend weekends with her when her parents were out of town.

Grammy B was also active in the community. She was the widow of a man who had been a popular and prominent politician. She was known for her wonderful philanthropy that funded for charities that did extraordinary, even miraculous, medical work.

Finally, the much anticipated 12th birthday arrived Her mother threw a fabulous Bee-themed bash, complete with a cake in the shape of a beehive, honey buns and yellow and black decor. It was fabulous! Grammy B presented Sabina with the ring and placed it on her ring finger in dramatic fashion. The guests hushed as Grammy B began to speak. “Every time you see this ring, dear Sabina, remember the bond that we share. Don’t ever lose it. Don’t ever take it off. Grammy B loves you.” Then Grammy B gave Sabina a big hug. Some guests clapped enthusiastically, others wiped their tears. Everyone knew that Sabina and Grammy B had a special relationship.

Sabina carefully followed Grammy B’s instructions because she loved her and she especially loved her beautiful ring. She was certain it would become a family heirloom. It soon became part of Sabina’s very identity.

All of Sabina’s friends knew about the special ring and the special bond that Sabina and Grammy B shared. Sabina felt special to have such a special, tangible gift between her and her special Grammy B. In fact, she felt sorry for people who claimed to have love their grandmothers, but had no ring. The ring, for Sabina, was more than just a symbol of love. It was love itself.

When Sabina was 15, he mother received a promotion that caused her and her parents to move out of state. Because of the distance between them, her relationship with Grammy B grew distant. She still loved her very much, but they were not able to have their weekly dates like they used to. Things were not like they used to be. Grammy B would call to talk to Sabina on the phone, but Sabina would tell her, “Grammy, I love you, but I have my friend on the other line, can I call you back?” Of course, she would forget and Grammy and Sabina would go weeks without catching up.

When Grammy B would come for visits, Sabina was excited at first. The first thing she would do was show Grammy that she was still faithfully wearing the ring. They would chat and catch up, but Sabina was a busy girl with lots of plans and Grammy B found that she wasn’t able to spend as much time with her precious granddaughter as she wanted.  Sabina was out at the mall with her friends or busy with extracurricular activities or with her new boyfriend. Even though Grammy B understood that Sabina was growing up, their distance made her sad. Even though Sabina felt the distance too, every time she looked down at her ring, she felt that all was well.

In her senior year, life changed dramatically when her parents decided to seriously start pursuing an international adoption. Sabina was sure that her parents were trying to replace her, but they assured her that this was something they had always wanted to do, and with Sabina off to college in a year, they finally had the extra time and space to do it.

Soon Sabina graduated and started college in a city near her grandmother’s home. Grammy B was so excited that she was going to be able to see her beloved granddaughter more often. And in fact, she did. Sabina would spend about one weekend a month with Grammy B and it seemed like their relationship was rekindled. Sabina really learned to appreciate the love and wisdom that her grandmother freely shared. It was Sabina who first began to notice that her grandmother was slowing down and getting older. She had lots of doctors appointments and was often sick. Sabina knew that she didn’t have much time left with her special Grammy B.

There was one thing that Sabina hoped her grandmother would never find out.

Sabina was a music major who dreamed of becoming a world-famous concert pianist. She studied under an accomplished musician with lots of connections and opportunities. He saw special potential in Sabina and wanted to hone her talent. He had one rule though, during her weekly class with him,  she had to remove what he called “that blasted ring!”

Turns out the Bee charm on the ring would clank against the keys and make a horrible distracting noise while Sabina played. Sabina always felt guilty about taking the ring off during her 2-hour lesson. She would promptly put it back on the minute the class was finished. What would she do if her grandmother ever came to listen to her play in concert? Was she betraying her grandmother in order to further her career?

One day, she couldn’t stand the guilt any longer. She didn’t want her grandmother to find out by accident, so she told her how she had to remove the ring…

Stay tuned. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.