Just like the story of the founding of Rome, the whispers of which could be heard long before that fateful day in 753BC, so the story of my wedding truly begins on Christmas day, 1861.
Last month, I decided to post every 29th of the month about a little detail from my wedding. And I think it fitting to begin not with the wedding itself, but with the machinations of fate that helped to bring the event into being.
On Christmas day, in 1861, my great-great-grandparents, Charles and Susan, got married. As you can imagine, they, and their children and their grandchildren, all died before I was born. But nevertheless, somehow my great-great-grandma Susie's ring somehow ended up in my possession.
It was Christmastime, 2007. I was at my father's house, buried in the woods of the Olympic Penninsula in the northwest of Washington State. My grandmother had passed away the year before and had left all her best jewelry (and rightly so) to her only daughter, my aunt. Grandma Lucille Lillian Cecilia had had many granddaughters, and as I live by far the farthest away, I never expected any of her possessions would make their way into my hands. Even so, there were a few tiny things left that no one else had wanted and my stepmother urged me to see if there was anything I would like to have.
I opened the tiny jewel bag to find a few random gold chains and a couple of trinkets, nothing too noteworthy, but something caught my eye. Something rather plain, actually: a simple gold band. It looked exactly like a wedding ring. Without a moment's thought I peered inside to see if there was an inscription, and there was.
Charles & Susie
Dec 25th 1861
What an amazing find! I knew from the names and the year that it could only belong to the maternal grandparents of my father's father. 1861! Nearly one hundred fifty years old! My dad was impressed, "Just think, this ring was made during the civil war!" Meanwhile I was thinking, "It was made the year of the Italian Unification!" Since I had been the only one to recognize it for what it was, I was allowed to keep it. I also chose a long gold chain that had been my grandmother's, so long it hangs past my navel, and slipped the ring onto it. From then on, I took to wearing the ring around my neck quite often. It became a wonderful conversation piece, and I enjoyed telling people the story. Little did I know then that it would change my life.
If you're wondering what a 150 year old ring could have to do with my wedding 4 months ago, you'll have to wait another month to find out...