I’ve never been a believer in talismans. You can keep your rabbit’s foot and lucky penny.
I shake my head when a pro baseball player feels compelled to perform rituals before he bats. Does the tap to the forehead and scratch of the nose really play into his homerun stats? Doubtful.
But I get what people who believe in luck are trying to tap into—that sweet spot where you’re in the zone. Where chance smiles upon you. Where you are shown unseen, but felt, support for whatever endeavor you’re undertaking. Winning at the roulette table. Hitting a homerun.
Making it through the week.
That last one has little to do with luck, as we all know. And no lucky penny will see you through.
But, if I’m totally honest, I do have a talisman or two. I turn to them in times of need and they never fail to let me down.
I just don’t believe they have anything to do with luck.
My father wore only one ring other than his wedding ring. The gems in it were taken from an antique tie tack. It was a ring that surprised me. My father was not a gem kind of guy. His plain gold wedding band, absent of any decoration, was more like him. But, for some reason, he loved this sapphire and diamond ring. Wore it proudly.
Before he died, he gave the ring to my boys. It was his way, I think, of making up for time they would not have with him that his other grandkids did have. I came late in my father’s life, my kids later in mine. They didn’t have much time together. He wanted a reminder for them of his love, possibly his existence.
The ring is kept in a safe because it means so much to me. I don’t want it lost before the boys become old enough to appreciate it.
I found myself, last week, in front of that safe, putting on my father’s ring. I stood there, tears in my eyes, just feeling it on my finger. Knowing he was the last one to wear it. And hoping against hope that some of his love, his energy, would come to me through the ring.
Sounds crazy to some of you, I’m sure. My dad was a tough old bird—he’d been through a lot of storms in his life—and he weathered them all. At the end, he still had a belly laugh and a sincere appreciation for his family. I needed that strength. I needed that humor. I needed that sense of gratitude in the midst of a rough week. So, yes, the ring was the closest I could come to him. And wearing it was comforting and sad at the same time. It wasn’t him. Not even close. But, it was a reminder of his love.
It worked. I only stood there for a few minutes, I’m sure. Just remembering. Asking for his help with my challenge. And it was enough of a respite to get me through a tough afternoon and evening.
Before we knew my mother was dying, my children bought her a ring. A gaudy thing. Gold beads cover it. But, it is beautiful, because they saw her this way, I think. Shiny. Pretty.
They gave her this ring in the hospital. She tried it on for them but never got to wear it. I somehow felt that meant the mantle passed to me. It was probably the last piece of jewelry she wore (even if only for a few seconds), other than her wedding ring.
I wore this beaded bauble to my divorce mediation. To tough therapy appointments in which my kids tried to work through their pain over all the losses in their lives. On my first Christmas Day alone, when my kids were with their father.
Is it even close to hearing my mother give me advice (which I usually did not want) in her calm, even tones? No. But, it is a reminder that I once had that in my life. That I carry the love and wisdom shared within me now, and that’s where I need to go to find it.
Random talismans I have neither time for nor need of. But objects that embody love, which remind us of what we carry inside of us, of those that have come before us—these I embrace.
So if you, like me, have lost loved ones and struggle a bit this holiday season, find your own talismans. I hope you have some. I, for one, will be celebrating with a gold bauble on. And I’ll wear it proudly.
11 Comments Add yours
Why not wear the ring that is meant for your sons until they want to wear/use it? My father passed away 11 years ago, on New Year’s eve, a day before my parents’ wedding anniversary. We go out to an early dinner, at 10:40, the time my dad died, I always glance at the clock. That type of pain never goes away. Wishing you happy holidays.
I’ve thought about that, wearing the ring. Rather than have it sit in a safe somewhere. Seems like it would keep his energy with us a bit more. I love the early dinner bit but hate that the time still haunts you on New Year’s Eve. I hope this one you’re able to look at that clock, bless your pain, and not have it hurt quite so much.
I don’t think it works like that but thank you. Bless your pain? Nope. But, it gets easier. Please wear the ring, it will make you happier and I’m sure your dad too. A safe? Why bother?
Oh, blessing my pain helps. I invite it in, feel it, ask it what I have to learn from it–and then acknowledge the learning. And politely ask it to leave. I prefer to learn through joy . .
I have some from my Nana & mom & dad & yes they are precious & are physical reminders of loved ones. By the way though do not dicount those that feel lucky & do rituals (though I do not like tje sign of the cross in sports as i feel this is too trivial for God) but anyway science has proven that a person who feels lucky has a much better winning ration then a person who feels they are going to lose.
your words are always so heartfelt, I feel inadequate to respond as I’d wish.
the physical talismans I have in a small amount, all powerful for the memories they evoke. incidentally, I’m wearing a ring I bought myself when I turned 21 – my first serious piece of jewelry. I bought it almost as a symbol of my sense of self – and wearing it makes me feel both empowered and confident.
happy holidays to you key!
I’m so glad you bought yourself that ring! I can’t stand it when women feel they must wait to be deemed worthy by another. Good for you.
And thank you for the kind words re: my words. My followers continue to increase steadily but not many comment. Some send private messages expressing what you did–they’re touched but not sure what to say. I so appreciate you making the effort.
Happy holidays to you too! I hope they’re filled with all sorts of new dishes/places:).
Another nice one, Kristine. I have many talismans from my dad. 😦
I hope they help, Bill.
I am so sorry for your losses. I love your story. It touched me. Beautifully written.
Thank you. Glad it touched you.