Thursday, November 6, 2008

the ruby ring

When Illiene VanSlyke was an old lady, (which was always, as far as I remember), she told Mom that when she died, she wanted her to have her ruby ring. So when she passed away, before the family arrived or anything, Mom went to Illiene's house and got the ring and has worn it ever since. Naturally, with me being the only daughter it has always been known, but perhaps not said that when Mom passed away, I would be the ring's new recipient. A few weeks ago, Mom looked at me, pointed to Illiene's ring on her finger and said, "Do you want my ring?" I blinked a couple times and said, "Yes, Mom, I want your ring...but not right now." She seemed satisfied with that, answer and nodded, and I could see that her mind had shifted to some other thought. Still, I thought it was an odd question out of the blue and wondered if Mom was thinking about her own mortality.
In late July/August after we returned from London I was talking with Mom and telling her that it was ok that she couldn't remember things. I said, "I'm sure you must feel frustrated." She nodded and said, "Yes, frustrated." I asked if she remembered that the doctor had told her she had Alzheimer's. She said "yes" and nodded. I said, "How do you feel about that?" She said, "I feel depressed." I asked, "Do you feel depressed because you can't remember or because of the Alzheimers?" She said, "I....Alzheimers." I told her, "It's ok. I know it's hard for you to remember, but Daddy and Allen and I are going to remember things for you. Then if you can't remember something you can just ask us and we'll tell you, okay? You remember how we took care of each other when Lloyd died? (she nodded) Now you're sick and we're going to take good care of you. You don't need to worry. We'll take care of you." She said "yes" and nodded and her face and body completely relaxed at that moment. She seemed satisfied with our discussion. Now, whenever I see her I tell her, "I love you. It's ok. We're taking good care of you." She nods "yes" and relaxes and kisses me.


JOEL said...

That's cool that she thought of the ruby ring. I am so glad Illiene gave that to her, and she gave it to you. That is perfect.

The blog is great. I hadn't thought of that ring in ages. Remember Illiene's little red room ? It wasn't really a room, but it sure was RED, with lamp, all kinds of Illiene stuff in one tiny area.

It's fun to remember Hubert and Illiene. I have so much wished to tell them and show them things, the girls, how alfalfa grows in California, how rice grows in India, how hay is harvested in Nebraska.

The ruby ring brings so much to mind.

mollypollyvelela said...

Iv never known the story behind that ring, but I know exactly what ring that is.

Fred Hinegardner said...
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