Rings on Her Fingers and Bells on Her Toes— Our Love Affair with Jewelry

Alecia Kennedy
6 min readNov 17, 2023

The stories we tell ourselves with pieces of metal and stone

Photo by Qazi Ikram haq: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-red-and-gold-dress-holding-up-hands-1199605/

When I was eleven years old, my great-aunt died. Hoo Hoo was my grandmother’s sister and lived with my grandparents. Losing her was my second devastating loss in a short period of time. In January of that same year, my maternal grandmother died from cancer. Unlike Mamaw’s death, Hoo Hoo’s was unexpected, a lightening strike out of the blue. She passed suddenly from a heart attack. One day she was there playing checkers with me and the next she was gone.

Her death occurred shortly before Christmas and she had cash in her purse in preparation to do her Christmas shopping for me and my sister. My grandmother gave us the money so that we could buy ourselves something to help us remember Hoo Hoo. I chose a simple gold ring with a small diamond as my keepsake. I wore it daily for many years, but as gold jewelry fell out of fashion and I began wearing more silver, I relegated it to the recesses of my jewelry bag.

Recently, Hoo Hoo has been popping into my mind more frequently and I felt the urge to put back on that ring. It still fits me, although I wear it on a different finger than I did as a pre-teen or teenager. I realize that at fifty-three, I am now two years older than Hoo Hoo was when I was born. I also…