My dear friend Becky passed away in 2016 and I have missed her ever since. Recently, I have received some gifts from her, and from her sister Karen who mailed them to me.
In the first mailing, I received a Chestnut Burr yearbook, which was published annually until recently. It is the yearbook for Kent State University (KSU) where Becky and I met in our first year of college at the Tuscarawas Branch Campus of KSU way back in the fall of 1981. There was a group of us that met and developed friendships that lasted for many years. We went on to finish our degrees at the main campus. Becky and I eventually became best friends and had many adventures together over the years.
Also, in that first mailing from Karen was Becky’s photo album of our trip to Maine in September of 1998. I have many photos from that trip as well and looking through Becky’s album brought back so many cherished memories. We had so much fun, and I think that trip played a part in the people we were to become forever after.
A week later, a second mailing from Becky’s sister arrived on my doorstep. It contained three things. A charm for a friendship bracelet that Becky had started for each of us. A silver necklace with a looping pendant that has the engraving, “I am thankful that in God’s design, he planned it, so your path crossed mine”. Karen said that Becky had set the necklace aside for me to be my Christmas present the year that she died.
The third thing in the box is something that is even more dear to me. It is a ring that Becky bought for herself on our Maine trip. It has a sapphire tourmaline which is the state stone of Maine. I have one that is nearly identical except that the stone is rose tourmaline. We knew that Becky was going to die soon when I made what turned out to be my last visit to see her in May of 2016. I asked her if I could have her ring later on if she had no other plans for it. She responded, “I would be honored for you to have it”.
Becky’s family lives far away from me and life eventually goes on. That ring came “home” to me earlier this week. I am so thankful to Becky’s family for sharing it with me. If anything, it is even more meaningful to me now. I put the ring on as soon as I took it out of the shipping box. I have not taken it off and do not intend to any time soon. I feel a connection to Becky that I haven’t felt for a long time. We were the type of friends who became more like sisters over the years.
This ring is especially meaningful to me not only because we purchased them together in Maine, although there is that. Becky and I were both recently divorced when we went on that trip, and we were celebrating our independence as well as our friendship. We put the rings on and announced that we were married to ourselves, and the rings symbolized that we didn’t need any man to take care of us and make us whole! (I am happily remarried now because I want to be.)
I plan to eventually have the stones from each of our rings put into one setting that I can wear as a remembrance of two friends, one friendship come together. For now, I am content to wear Becky’s ring and think of her.
Becky and I had many other fun times over the years and spent many a weekend together. I don’t remember us ever having a fight or harsh words. I am blessed to have these renewed memories of my dear friend.