“I’d like you to go by Ross Jewelers today when you get out of class and off work.”
No statement could have shocked me more. Those words were said to me early one morning in 1964 at the breakfast table as I was about to leave the house headed to my college classes and later work.
“What?” I said. “Yes, go by the jewelers this evening.” “What for?” I asked. “Your dad and I would like you to go there to have your ring finger measured,” was my mother’s reply. “My ring finger measured? What in the world for?” The last place in the world I could imagine my mother asking me to go was to a jewelry store. Jewelry was not a big item in my family. My dad wore no jewelry, oh maybe a tie clip on his Sunday tie. The only jewelry I remember my mother wearing was her simple silver wedding band, and on occasion earrings.
“With your college graduation nearing, your dad and I thought you might like to have a college ring,” my mother said to me. “Okay,” was my reply. Later that day I stopped at Ross Jewelers and had my ring finger measured. About four weeks later my college ring arrived.
I learned the real story later, years later. The ring cost about seventy-five dollars, not a big sum by today’s standards, but not so in 1964 on my parent’s budget. Later I learned they paid ten dollars down and then made monthly payments on the ring for the next six or seven months until it was paid off. My folks did not have a lot of extra money, and believe me when I say that a ring was definitely an “extra” item. To them graduating from college was not just another happening. It was very special as I was the first Adamson in our family to graduate from college, and they were very proud and happy for me.
Today that ring sits in one of two places, either on my bedroom night stand or on my desk in my office. Often it is the first thing I see every morning or the last thing I see at night. It is a reminder of two people who loved and cared deeply about their child, and on this occasion they felt it was important enough to break open the “alabaster” jar.I have never forgotten their sacrifice.
There is a great line I remember from a CeCe Winans song that says:
"You don't know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box"
January 3, 2009