The man held out the gleaming gold band and wanted to know where she had gotten it. Lydia fumbled through the old family tale. His piercing eyes made her feel as if the ground beneath her was crumbling.
What was happening? Why was he so enraged? But all changed when he shook his head and stated, “You’re mother lied to you.” It was only the beginning of an unbelievable family secret.
Lydia Madison had been raised by a single mother. Even when things were difficult, her mother always made time for her and made her feel loved.
It was difficult at times, with long hours and evenings without bedtime stories, but they always made it through. There were occasional birthday presents and the rare “just because” surprise. One of these gifts would impact her life forever.
She’d grown into a woman who adored her own newborn girl as much as her mother did.
There were happy times. She had married the love of her life and also had a good profession. Everything looked to be going swimmingly until they received a sad phone call a few weeks later.
Lydia’s mother, who was strong, gorgeous, and thoughtful, had died. It came out of nowhere, which made the shock and grief all the more heartbreaking.
It took her weeks to go through her mother’s belongings. There wasn’t much there. The majority of it was donated. But there remained one thing left for Lydia alone.
It was her mother’s favorite ring. Lydia had always remembered it resting on her mother’s graceful fingers.
It wasn’t just something she admired as a child; it became something of a family family heirloom. So when she discovered it in a small box, she breathed a sigh of relief. She had no idea, however, that this ring had a long history.
Lydia’s mom told her that she discovered the ring in 1945 when she was just 12 years old. She’d discovered it in a field near a cleaning job she’d done for extra cash.
She’d kept it with her all this time, owing to all her subsequent good fortune to that one lucky moment. However, the story did not finish there.
Lydia kept the old ring as a memento of all the lovely times she had spent with her mother. It was a symbol of the love and family bonds she now treasured with her own children and husband.
It was as if her mother was embracing her. All of these lovely memories would eventually be replaced by dark ones.
When things were very rough, her mother would reach for the alcohol. Lydia was scared that she might too follow her mother’s steps.
Lydia began to notice the warning signs in her own life, and she became resolved to break the habit and adopt a healthier stress-reduction strategy — jogging. She was jogging along a grassy trail far too quickly one July morning.
Her feet slipped from beneath her, and she fell down the muddy slope. The lurching motion pushed her stomach into her throat.
It was instinctive for her to reach out with both hands to protect herself from the blow. It may have broken her fall, but it also broke something else.
She couldn’t believe what she was seeing! Her mother’s ring had twisted and broken. She sobbed as she walked home, blaming herself for making such a reckless, stupid mistake.
Every part of her wished she could go back in time and forget about the morning run. But all she could do now was figure out who could fix it. She had no idea that the repairs would expose a long-hidden dark secret.
Lydia raced back to her house, distraught. She urged her husband to repair it, but knowing how much Lydia loved it, he was afraid he would damage it further or make it too small for her to wear.
Instead, he urged her to take it to a jeweller to be repaired. It was a clean break, and ideally one that could be quickly corrected. But there was nothing Lydia could do about what was about to happen.
The whole family went to a jeweller. Lydia went straight up to the man behind the counter and showed him the ring.
She was in tears as she told him what had happened and asked him if he could mend it. Without saying anything, the man took the ring from her and examined it. Suddenly, he gasped loudly.
He took a closer look and said, “I know this ring!” Lydia, perplexed, asked what he meant. She asked him once more whether he could fix it, but he was preoccupied with something else.
“Where did you get this?” he asked, ignoring her query. Lydia, puzzled, told him the story her mother had told her. “Impossible!” he said. He then dashed to the back of the store.
He came out with an account book, paused, and traced his finger on the pages. Suddenly he exclaimed, “Aha! I knew it.” Then he sighed and turned to face Lydia. “Your mother lied to you,” he pointed out.
His unexpected comments cut like a knife into Lydia’s heart. How can he bring up her late mother in such a way? Tears welled up in her eyes as she questioned why he would say such a thing. What he said next took her by surprise.
If Lydia’s account is true, that means her mother discovered the ring in 1952. However, as the jeweller explained, the processes used to make this particular ring were first discovered in 1965, which meant that the band could only have been made after that year.
Lydia’s eyes widened as she realized what was going on.
She remembered something from way back. They used to stroll past this jewellery store all the time when she was a little child.
They lived in a little town, and this was the only jeweller in town. She had always longed to go in and see, but her mother had always prohibited her. Lydia had no idea why. However, she was about to find out.
Lydia was told by the jeweller that the story her mother told her was impossible because the ring was designed by his father and mentor. He showed her the patterns on his account book, as well as the ring’s ID number.
They were exactly the same. Then he informed her that the ring was made in 1965, not 1945. Her mother’s story cannot be genuine. What he said next, though, revealed a dark past hidden in a web of secrets.
The ring’s design was unique to this jewellery company — his father had made it and they owned the design. When the jeweller dug deeper into the store’s archives, he uncovered another discovery.
He’d remembered something odd about this ring, so he dug through a box of old paperwork. Lydia’s world was devastated by what he disclosed.
The jeweller twisted the ring, revealing a concealed compartment supposed to house a secret message for the wearer — which still contained the generic phrase that came with the band inside.
Lydia didn’t require any further proof… The jeweller was being honest. But that wasn’t the only thing. The second piece of information he shared was even more unexpected.
He stated that this ring was stolen from the store in 1966, but no one was ever apprehended. Lydia’s thoughts raced as she tried to recall where her mother had been in 1966. She suddenly froze.
Her world was collapsing around her, and she wasn’t sure if her mother was who she believed she was. She was born in the year 1966.
She recalls her mother telling her when she was young that she had a difficult time financially when she was born. Her father had abandoned her and her mother not long after.
Did her mother steal it to save them from financial ruin? Or was it just because she couldn’t afford it? What else did her mother withhold from her?
Lydia was speechless as she looked at the jeweller. Her thoughts were racing as she imagined what he must think of her. Even if the authorities were notified, they would be powerless to intervene because the crime occurred so long ago.
This was all she had from her mother. She must have her reasons. Then suddenly the jeweller spoke.
He saw Lydia’s shock and horror as she struggled to comprehend what was going on. The jeweller felt sorry for her and decided that the monetary value of the antique ring didn’t compare to the sentimental value it offered Lydia.
Looking at her perplexed expression, he knew he had no intention of taking it from her. He sighed and started speaking softly.
Lydia was assured by the generous jeweller that she may keep the ring. Because he owned the store, he was able to make that decision. He even offered to restore it and return it to her as its rightful owner for free.
She was heartbroken that she would never be able to find out. But now she had to make a choice now.
Lydia realized after a few moments of thinking that she had to accept the truth that there would always be secrets about her mother that she would never know.
But, more significantly, she knew one thing for certain: her mother would have done anything for her. She opted to keep the ring as a memory.