Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Promise

Blue Moon

I was in the fourth grade. My Aunt and I were under the chinaberry tree in Grandmother’s front yard. I was fiddling with Aunt Dot’s watch and talking about how much I liked jewelry and all the kinds I was going to have when I was grown. Aunt Dot pulled her arm away from me and put her hands on her hips and said, “I tell you what - when you get to the seventh grade, I’m gonna buy you a birthstone ring.”

I was beside myself with joy.

“A real ring?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she said. “A real ring. Your birthstone”.

A real ring was one that was not adjustable. It was made to fit your finger. And I was going to have one. My Daddy took us to a church that didn’t allow you to wear jewelry or any such foolishness as that, so this was BIG.

My ring would be a sapphire. I couldn’t wait.

I entered the seventh grade. Days passed and I didn’t hear from Aunt Dot. Maybe she was going to show up at my school one day with a little box so everyone would see her give my ring to me. Or maybe she was going to wait until my birthday. September passed. Surely she was going to surprise me with my blue ring at Christmas. But I didn’t even see her at Christmas. The next time I did see her, I mentioned right away that I was in the seventh grade and changing classes and making all A’s on my report card. I searched her face. I didn’t see any recognition that she remembered her promise to me. And I could not be so bold as to remind her of her promise. My Daddy might find out and he would have whipped me for having no manners.

Years passed.

I was looking in my jewelry box the other day, arranging and rearranging my rows and rows and drawers of bling. Lots of rings. Lots of foolishness. But I’m positive, nothing in there is as shiny as the sparkle of that one blue stone would have been...