One year for Christmas, I think it was in 1947, my grandmother gave me a matching necklace and bracelet. We were living in Oklahoma and had gone to Iowa for Christmas vacation. I looked at them lovingly and longingly and promptly put them into my overnight case, also a gift from my grandma. Later, Grandma asked me where my necklace and bracelet were. I smiled at her and told her they were in my new overnight case. I knew I couldn’t wear them, it was wrong to wear jewelry. I think my grandma knew I couldn’t wear them too. Is that was why she gave them to me, just to see how my mother and I would react?! She had given a set to my sister, Lorraine, too. You see, my parents had become born again Christians, my dad had become a minister and our relatives just didn’t understand the change that had come to our family. Both my mother’s family and my dad’s family made life hard for my parents. My mother had thrown all her jewelry away.
When Jerry and I were talking about marriage I told him my parents would not allow me to wear an engagement ring. He had already bought it! His parents weren’t as strict as mine. He asked what I could have for engagement and I told him a wristwatch. He put the ring away and bought a beautiful wristwatch for me. I wore it proudly and told everyone it was my engagement watch.
But wedding rings were okay. In fact, in the fifties, the church had changed it ruling about wedding rings. My mother and a friend of hers went to town the very day of the new ruling and bought wedding rings for themselves! They were probably the first pastor’s wives in our denomination to wear rings! Later, my dad bought mother a very nice wedding ring!
Jerry and me on our wedding day.
If you look closely you can see my lone wedding ring in this picture.
About 15 years into our marriage, I got the diamond ring out to show our daughter, Pam. I slipped it on my finger. It was beautiful! Then I took it off … well, I tried to take it off. It wouldn’t go over my knuckle! I worked and worked to take the ring off, to no avail. Guess what…I’m still wearing the ring today! I’ve never been able to take it off in all these years!
Here is my hand 54 years later with both my engagement ring and my wedding ring!
Several years ago when I went to Washington state to visit my parents my mother had a pearl necklace on! I was so surprised! I asked when she started wearing jewelry. She and my dad both smiled. The church rules seemed to be changing! My dad bought the necklace for her. The next time I went to visit them we talked about the changes that were taking place in the church. They said it was good. I told them of my disappointment as a child to not get to wear my necklace and bracelet from Grandma. They apologized. They hadn’t realized it had affected me so strongly. Before I left my mom gave me a new necklace.
She’s almost 99 years old now. About a year ago she gave the pearl necklace my dad bought for her! I wear it proudly!
I’m one of the few women who hasn’t had my ears pierced. At my age I’ll not do it now. If I was younger, I probably would. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry but I wear it often.