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“Sarah, do you think you will wear this?”

A hand small, withered–yet elastic in its joints and tendons–darts into the periphery of my right eye’s vision: at its finger tips, a glint of lush purple-red. I put down the butter knife I am using to make a sandwich.

“What is it, Grandma?”

“It’s my mother’s wedding ring.”

I take the ring with its high golden Tiffany setting and hold it in my left hand, the kitchen’s afternoon light catches the large ruby at the ring’s center, sending the stone into glittering fits of red. This was the ring my great-grandmother wore on her wedding day. The ring she kept on her bedroom dresser for most of the Depression, because she didn’t want the suds and grime of her extra cleaning jobs to ruin it.

I turn the ring to get a better look at the stone’s cut, and another reddish flash shouts from further down my hand: another ruby, jauntily tilted in its golden Art Nouveau setting. A ring that belonged to my other great-grandmother. A much-loved piece of jewelry she wore daily from high school graduation until her fiancĂ© replaced it with a fine, large diamond in a band of platinum.

“Yes Grandma, I think I will wear it. Thank you for passing it along to me.”

Gently, I slip my new ruby ring onto my left middle finger, two different rings rest side by side. Yet, both bands share the unquenchable fire of the ruby, glittering eternally in each setting’s center–a purple-red hue that surely matches the purple-red blood flowing through my finger’s veins, through the veins of my Grandmother’s wrinkled hands.

A life force that endlessly sparkles with my family’s DNA.

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