I am truly blessed to have an enormous circle of friends and two very special ones who I met (and they each other) at the same moment, on the same day four years ago – Amy and Jennifer. To say that these women are like sisters to me would be an understatement – especially as I wasn’t born with one in this lifetime and those women from my sorority at university faded from my life more than 25 years ago.
In 1989 my husband and I separated. To cope with my despair I ‘ran away to the sea’ and became the operations manager for the HMS Bounty, then owned by Turner Broadcasting Systems in Atlanta. I was disillusioned and hurt and perhaps a little angry and I bought myself an antique coin ring with diamonds on either side of a bezel set 3rd century AD coin featuring the profile of Emperor Constantine. I had it sized down to fit on my pinkie finger and decided to wear my great grandmother’s rose gold wedding band behind it. My accompanying explanation to all the lovely compliments received (for many years) had been “the only man worth having is one wrapped around my little finger”. It became, and remains, one of those signature pieces of jewelry each of us possesses – that we feel nearly naked when not wearing, and which people associate with our being. I didn’t realise how much until just before I was to leave for three months in Croatia – from where I write this blog post.
Amy had taken me out for a quiet ‘chick night’ of Thai and a couple glasses of red wine. And she mentioned the ring and how ‘if I ever found one like it’ she’d love to have it to remind her of our friendship and me. (High praise that made me cry.) I explained that the one I was wearing was actually an eBay find to replace the original one which, because of daily wear, had thinned down and required too much restoration to be wearable and that I had managed to sell the original for scrap completely paying for the replacement I was wearing (set with cabochon sapphires). That night I got on eBay and found three rings for Amy to consider – she chose, made an offer which was accepted and now wears the one most like mine and, on its receipt, was quick to drop me a note to say “Hi There! My ring came today! I love it – reminds me of you!!! Hugs!!” What could be lovelier? These are enough alike to be the ultimate sister rings without being icky and creepy!! Happy Anniversary Amy.
Jennifer and I also have sister rings though she bought ours for us two years ago – truly one of the grandest gifts I have ever received – following our mutual reading of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and then seeing the movie together; we are a remarkable parallel to See’s characters of Lily and Snow Flower. Our rings are Halo from Lyndsay Caleo – 14kt gold, mine (shown) in Labradorite (alongside my Elizabeth Gage dolphin ring) and Jennifer originally with two of the smaller stoned ones stacked of Moonstone and the other of Labradorite (there was a mistake in the order so we negotiated). The stones specifically chosen for the protection they offer for both of our respective astrological signs.
There is immeasurable comfort to me in having us wearing these rings now. Small talismans to provide connection between us energetically that ground and nourish me as I embrace the next chapter of my life and Amy and Jennifer their own paths though we are 4400 miles apart from one another. It’s pouring down rain, the lightning and thunder just kicked in, my date cancelled because of weather, I am heating up some split pea soup I made the day before yesterday to take the chill out of me and the air and I am, quite frankly, missing the comfortable nest of my apartment in Rochester. So in looking down at my hands while I type my girlfriends you are with me; I love you both very much.
To everyone else – be the kind of friend worthy of such friendship regardless of your gender. Love fully without smothering. Don’t be ‘needy’. Be unconditional in your support. Be brave, be authentic, be “there” when no one else but you will do.
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