I lived most of my life with only one grandparent—my mother’s mother. My other grandparents passed away either before I was born or while I was still too little to have many memories of them. But my grandmother loved me enough for all of them every single day. In my eyes she was pure love, pure giving, the very incarnation of what a devoted Jewish woman should be. We were close. When she passed away at age 93, I was already an adult in my mid-twenties—but that night I cried like a child.
My grandmother outlived her husband, my grandfather, by over 20 years. She was not always in good health, but she always had a smile for me and said that she was going to live to dance at my wedding. When she died before I had even come close to finding the right guy, I was broken-hearted.
It would be another few years before I met my husband, but when we got engaged it was decided that instead of buying a new ring, I would wear my grandmother’s engagement ring. More than an “heirloom,” as my friends and family called it, the ring was a meaningful connection to the grandmother I had loved and the Jewish womanhood she had modeled for me.