Thursday, March 30, 2006


One ring to rule them all.

On todays HNT Deb commented that I should do a closeup of the ring on my finger. I'm not usually into things like fate, but it's weird she mentioned it because when Martha was doing her Photoshop magic on the picture she commented on how I had forgotten to remove the ring for the photo. If I had realised before we took the photo I would almost certainly have taken it off to get the photo of me closer to the actual poster artwork, and of course Deb would not then have made her comment.

Not necessarily spooky I know, but things just have a way of accidentally coming to the fore when you least expect it. What's more is the ring itself holds its own story. It's not something I would have thought to tell on my blog, not because I don't want to, but because the ring is simply "there" on my finger, somewhat unassuming and wouldn't immediately spring to mind as a blogworthy topic. However it is certainly one of the most treasured items that I own.

The ring belonged to my grandmother - my father's Mum - who we called Granny K. It is from her that my family gets its Danish roots, which is something I am very proud of. She passed away in 2004 but lived well into her 90's, and for the most part had her wits about her right to the end. She was an amazing woman and although as a child she really scared the crap out of me, as I got older I came to understand her more and really appreciate her wisdom, intelligence and outspokenness.

Granny K gave me the ring when I was about 15 or 16. I don't exactly recall why - it wasn't for a birthday or anything like that I remember - just one of many times when we'd see her and she'd pull some gift out of nowhere and tell the story behind why she was giving it to us. It was the first piece of jewellery I had ever owned and I wore it constantly from the day she gave it to me, and even now it rarely leaves my finger, and this is why...

The ring was given to Granny K by her husband (my grandfather) Leon Kagan. He was a jeweller/engraver by profession. Obviously it is gold, but I have no idea how many carats or the origin of where it was wrought as the inscriptions on the inside are rather worn. However the letters inscribed upon the ring, LMK, were engraved by my grandfather...but here's the mystery...LMK doesn't really MEAN anything. Nobody in our family has those initials, and the only thing my grandmother could fathom was that L was for his name "Leon", M was for her name "Metha" and K was of course for the surname "Kagan". She always told me she found it peculiar that he had chosen to engrave the ring this way, but I guess from a romantic perspective it makes the most sense - however, I'm not aware of it being commonplace to engrave letters in such a way - they tend more to be initials for a single person, rather than some sort of combination of two.

The ring means much much more to me though simply because my grandfather died before I was born. I've always been told he was a kind and gentle man, and I know he was a fabulous artist from all the etchings, engravings and drawings that my parents have of his. This ring was, and still is, my connection to him, and I would guard it with my life - no amount of money, no matter how desperate I am, nothing will part me from this heirloom.

It's interesting also to note that the letters inscribed on the ring also make up the initials of my wife's "married name" - obviously the L and M are reversed but that seems to be in keeping with the weirdness of the letters' grouping when it was given to my grandmother.

Deb's comment, which prompted me to do this blog, was timely too - you find me at a crossroads right now and not quite sure which direction to take.
Like I said at the start, I don't really buy into cosmic, fatalistic things, but it seems weird that I should be prompted to suddenly focus on something so close and dear to me which I would normally take for granted. Maybe it's a sign for me to take a chance and grab these exiting new opportunities?

Always better to regret doing something than regret not doing something, that maxim has served me ok. Follow your heart, that way you'll always be true to yourself, and certainly don't listen to the rantings of strange northern women commenting on your blog!
Ann - Wise words indeed...I shall never listen to strange northern women ranting on my blog ever, ever, ever!
Dude, I love your HNT posts. You are on to something unique and creative on those! Oh, and love the ring. Very "manly".
Very cool! and what a neat piece of family history.

Glad I could prompt a post. ;)

CCB - Yes, I realise it's not really a "mans" ring...not really the point though...

Deb - Yeah, I'm sorry the photos a bit crappy though. I wanted to make sure I got the letters, but the camera didn't want to play, so it's out of focus...even Photoshop couldn't save me there!
Neat ring. I like the story that goes along with it. My great Aunt whom I deeply admire died when I was 14. I still have a lot of stuff from her, mainly jewlery, that mean the world to me. I also have a bunch of Wayne State stuff since she went to college there too. Whenever my grandmother comes across more stuff she always sends it my way. My Aunt graduated with her degree in Education in the 1930's when it was still pretty unheard of for women to go to college.
MyUtopia - Wow, that is quite an achievement for a woman at that time. I have an enormous amount of respect for my Grandfather even though I never knew him...sometimes I think that's a bit weird, but I just get the impression he and I would have got along really well.
I love family heirlooms! I don't care if they are worth anything or not just the story behind them is enough for me! Loved the story Gabby thanks!
OGO - Yeah, you're a hunk of gold this ring probably isn't worth a great deal, but to me it means the world.
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