Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Fellowship of the Rings

My sisters and I all have family heirlooms on our left ring finger. This is an amazing and special gift. I'm so honored to wear such a special piece of my family history on my finger, and I know they are as well. All three of the rings have an unusual story of endurance, faith and love. I will start with Marie's ring, then Patti's, then mine.

Marie's ring was my mothers. She did reset it, but she has the original setting in tact, and intends on either going back to it one day, or replacing the center stone in it.

The Back Story: A fairytale of of man, swooping up a young, sheltered woman, and taking her on what would turn out to be a 24 year amazing life adventure. 4 children in 5 years, went from working at a 7-11, to owning a 7-11, memory after amazing memory of vacationing, parties, holidays, and much much more. Then on to back pain, to terrible news, to coming home, to sleeping on an air mattress for 8 months next to her husband, to watching him leave us, to staying faithful to him and her marriage vows 17 years later.

Patti's ring was my grandmothers on my Moms side. My grandmother had reset it over the 50+ years of marriage that they shared.

The Back Story: According to my grandmother, she used to 'yoo-hoo' at my grandfather out of her window in Brooklyn when he would deliver 'the bundles' to people houses from the 'market'. She said he would turn red like a cherry. Moving on, 8 years later they were married. Shortly after, he was headed to World War II. Just this year, I used his love letters in a family heritage project for Amber, including the letter that let her know that he was on his way home. Before he left, not knowing if he would return, he left her with a special gift, that they would later call RoseAnn Louise Castertano. My grandfather did not lay his eyes on my mother until she was 2 years old. According to my grandmother, she knew exactly who he was when he came home. My grandmother was an amazing wife. She really took care of her husband. Juice and medicine on the counter, clothes 'pressed', she took pride in her role as a wife. Struggling his whole life with heart disease, he passed away 3 years after my father. But that ring never left her finger for the decade that she out lived him. It was given to my sister when she passed away.

My ring was my mothers Aunts ring, but although she was her aunt, more importantly, she was my mothers best friend. She was the baby of 8 in my grandmothers family. We grew up with her in our everyday life. The word aunt doesn't really give the signifigance of her role in our lives very much justice. My dad used to start to joke around December 1st. "Aunt Rose is coming for Christmas, is she on her way?" Because she would come from Brooklyn, and stay for weeks at a time. Marie was her absolute favorite, hands down. We all know this. It's all good. The ring sits in it's original setting, over 50 years later.

Back Story: I have been told countless times that Uncle Nick was 'James Dean' handsome. On top of that, he was one of the sweetest, most genuine men that we ever knew. He loved my Aunt endlessly, but he did try to leave her. Uncle Nick had a bad ticker, and wasn't sure how much time he had here before his life would end. He wanted better for her, he wanted her to get married, and have kids, and grow old with someone. My Aunt wasn't having it. She squashed his plan real fast. They married with the stipulation that they would not have any children, as he couldn't bare to leave her alone, as a single mother. Their love was amazing, and they were given 10 wonderful years together. Uncle Nick died at the age of 36 from heart complications. My aunt never did have any children. She moved here to North Carolina in her later years and lived with Marie until she passed away just a few years ago. Her ring, again, never left her finger. When Robert asked my mother if he could ask me for my hand in marriage, my mother gave him the ring.

I hope that one day 50 years from now, these three rings have 3 new beautiful love stories to pass on to our girls when the rings are passed down. We each have one daughter. Perfect.

1 comment:

Marie Marsicano said...

I am the favorite of all of the older generation!!! LOL

What Colleen left out was the fact that each of us (currently) have one daughter each to have the legacy's live on.....

We are a truly blessed family to have such amazing stories behind our rings and such strong/amazing role model marriages to emulate.