“Where did you get this?”, he demanded. Confused by his question, Lydia told him the story her mom told her. “Impossible!” he quipped. He looked closer and traced its intricate carvings.
“Your mother lied to you”, he said. His unexpected words pierced Lydia’s heart like a knife. How dare he talk about her mom like that. It was the beginning of a shocking family discovery.
Lydia Madison was an only child and beloved daughter to her single mom, Bethany. Their life was hard as her mom struggled to keep their heads above water when she was younger.
She remembered how she worked two jobs, sometimes taking to drinking to cope. But now, that was all in the past. They made it through and now, Lydia had everything she ever wanted, or so she thought.
It was the second happiest time of her life when her baby girl, Mia came into the world. Her first happiest moment was when she said yes to the man she was to spend the rest of her life with.
Lydia had everything she ever wanted, she had a successful career, a loving husband, a mother, and now a baby by her side. But weeks later, her world flipped upside down.
Her mom, the woman she was most close to in the world, passed away. Her passing came as a devastating blow to Lydia. She mourned her for weeks before she had any courage to go through her belongings.
But when she did, she realized her mom didn’t leave much behind — wanting to donate her things to charity instead. But she did leave one thing to Lydia.
Her ring. It was her mom’s favorite. As far as Lydia could remember, she wore it every day of her life. It was her lucky charm.
Lydia remembered admiring it time and time again. She was relieved to find it after her mother’s passing. But what was most special about this ring was the story that came with it.
In 1945, when her mom was 12 years old, she found the ring in a field as she walked to a manor she used to clean for pocket money.
She felt like it was a symbol of hope for better things to come. She knew that if things got really tough, it might be worth something. But there was much more to this story.
Lydia held onto the ring with her life. She immediately put it on her finger and felt her mother’s love wash over her again like a blessing from something divine.
It was a beautiful ring, gold, and expensive-looking, an antique that she would be sure to pass on to her own daughter as a family heirloom. But there was something dark attached to this ring.
Lydia had started turning to the bottle again to cope with her mother’s loss. Luckily, this time she recognized the pattern of behavior and stopped the habit in its tracks.
Instead, she decided to replace the bad habit with a good one. She started running. But she had no idea that this choice would coincidentally lead her down a path that was tangled with lies.
As time passed, the pain of missing her mom eased and she continued life as normal. Then one day as she went for a run, she tripped, and her wounded sorrow was cut open.
To break her fall, she reached out her hand to protect herself. She succeeded but in doing so, she broke something else, her mom’s ring. And with it, its barrier from all its shocking secrets.
Lydia couldn’t believe it! Her mother’s ring was broken — all because of a small, stupid mistake. Why she insisted on wearing it while running she didn’t know.
She berated herself all the way home, thinking about her mother as the tears welled in her eyes. She prayed that the ring could be repaired, but she never realized what the consequences would be.
Lydia ran back to her house, deeply upset, she asked her husband to fix it but knowing how much Lydia loved it, he feared he might damage it further or make it too small for her.
Instead, he advised her to go to the jeweler to fix it. It was a clean break, and hopefully, one that could be amended easily. But there was no amending what Lydia was about to find out.
When Lydia and her husband and child arrived at the jeweler, she went straight up to the man at the counter and showed him the ring. She was distraught as she explained to him what happened while asking him could he fix it.
Without a word, the man took the rind from her hand and examined it. Suddenly, he gasped.
He looked closer and declared in surprise, “I know this ring.” Lydia, confused, asked him what he meant. She asked him again if he could fix it, but he was preoccupied with it.
He ignored her question and asked, “where did you get this?” Perplexed, Lydia told him the story her mom told her. “Impossible!” he quipped. Then he ran to the back of the store.
He reappeared with an account book, traced his finger down the pages, and paused. “Aha!” he said, “I knew it!” Then he sighed and looked at Lydia.
“Your mother lied to you,” he said. His unexpected words pierced into Lydia’s heart like a knife. How dare he talk about her late mom like that. Tears formed as she demanded why he would say such a thing. What he said next shocked her.
If Lydia’s story was true, it would mean that her mother had found the ring back in 1952.
But, as the jeweler explained, the techniques that were used to make this particular ring were only discovered in 1965 — which meant that that year was the earliest that the ring could possibly have been made. Lydia’s eyes widened as the facts began to sink in.
Lydia suddenly remembered something. When she was a young girl they would walk past this jewelry store all the time. They lived in a small town and this had been the only jeweler in the area.
She always wanted to go in and look, but mother had always forbidden her from going in. And Lydia had never known why. But she was about to find out.
The jeweler told Lydia that the story her mom told her was impossible because the ring was created by his father and mentor. He showed her the designs, and the ring’s ID number, on his account book. They were identical.
Then he told her that this ring was created in 1965, not 1945. Her mom’s story couldn’t be true. But what he said next revealed a dark past hidden in a web of secrets.
The design of the ring was unique to this particular jewelry store – his father had made it and they owned the design. And when the jeweler did a little more digging into the store’s archives, he made another discovery.
He’d remembered something strange about this ring, so he pulled out a file of old records. What he revealed shattered Lydia’s world.
The jeweler twisted the ring, revealing a secret compartment that was designed to hold a secret message for the wearer — which still had a generic message that had come with the ring inside.
Lydia didn’t need more proof… the jeweler was telling the truth. But that wasn’t all. The next piece of information that he revealed was even more surprising.
He said that this ring was stolen from the store in 1966, they never found the culprit. Lydia’s mind raced as she tried to remember where her mother was in 1966.
Suddenly, she froze. Her world was unraveling and she didn’t know if her mother was the person she thought she was. 1966 was the year she was born.
She remembered her mom telling her that when she was small that she really struggled financially when she was born. Her father had left her and her mother soon after.
Did her mom steal this to save them from financial despair? Or because she couldn’t afford it? What else did her mom keep from her?
Lydia looked at the jeweler, speechless. Her mind was racing as she wondered what he must think of her. But even if the police were alerted, they couldn’t do anything, the crime happened so long ago.
They couldn’t make her forfeit it. This was all she had left of her mom, even if she did lie to her. She must have had her reasons. Suddenly, the jeweler spoke.
He watched the shock and horror as Lydia tried to understand what was happening. The jeweler took pity on her and seeing how much the old ring meant to her, he decided that the monetary value it would give him didn’t compare to the sentimental value it gave Lydia.
Looking at her bewildered face, he knew that he had no intention of taking it from her. He sighed and began to speak softly.
The kindhearted jeweler told Lydia that she could keep the ring. He was able to make that call because he owned the store.
He even offered to fix it at no charge and return it to her as its rightful owner. But, now that she knew the truth about the ring’s history, did Lydia still want it?
Lydia’s mind was racing. What other secrets had her mother kept from her? She was devastated that she would never be able to find out now that she was gone.
What else had her mother stolen? And what else did she have to resort to when her father had walked out? And now, she had to make a decision.
After a few moments of thought, Lydia decided that she had to make peace with the fact that there would always be secrets about her mother that she may never know.
But, more importantly, there was one thing she did know for sure: her mother would have done anything for her. So she decided to keep the ring as a reminder of that.