My birthday thoughts – the story about a ring


Today is my birthday, 25 November. I´m a  Sagittarius who´s usually known for her free soul and thirst for adventures. A lot of truth in it. I leave my thoughts on free soul and adventures for a while and as an impulsive act, I just want to tell you the stories about the two rings I have. I don´t wear them often but I come across them every morning and night, they´re just placed beside the window above my  bed.The green jade ring from my grandmother


My grandmother passed away in 2003, aged 79. She´d been in a poor health condition for months before she died. She might have lived longer if the circumstances around her was not of such a character as it was. At that time or moment, it was perhaps a relief for her to draw the line. My grandmother was perceived as a peculiar woman throughout her life. Her peculiarity was probably caused by the combination of her difficult upbringing and her experiences later in life, the brutality of WW2 certainly played a role as well? These were just my speculations. I never quite got to know her, and I´m afraid that nobody did. She didn’t seem to be a particularly loving person and wasn´t very much adored by the people around her if I can put it this way. But I was the exception. She wasn’t implicit about her liking on me, I was treated differently, small gifts and special treats were always passed to me, rarely to my younger brother or anyone else.


I was 6 months pregnant with my first child when I received the news about her death. It would take almost 18 hours to fly from Oslo to Shanghai, and I decided to not participate in her funeral. I got this ring of green jade from my mother, my grandmother was longing to see me days before her death, she intended to give it to me herself, the ring which she spent the rest of her savings to acquire. It was meant for me.

I can still sense the sadness and desperate longing in her eyes, she must have realised that she would never see me again, she must have realised that she would never have the chance to give me the ring herself, she must have realised that she would never be able to tell me those things happened in her life, her secretes, the causes of her peculiarity. She kept the ring with her, she didn’t want anyone to touch it, until the day she no longer could keep it herself.

I remember those few times I visited her in my hometown, Shanghai. She was like a child, with her thin grey hair flying, she held my arm, so tightly. She took me around the neighbourhood, telling everyone we encountered that her granddaughter was visiting her. With that proud voice and wide smile, she showed me to the people, as if I was her proof that she wasn’t alone and she wasn’t the weird widow they thought she was. It was as if I was her personal triumph for an ordinary life, just like anyone else´s.

I often doubt my feelings for her, how do I feel about my grandmother?

Now I know, I think I love her, and I hope she would know it, that I love her and miss her very much, that I´ve understood her, eventually. Too late.


It seems I´m not in the right mood to tell you the story about my another ring. It´s a very different one. I leave it for next time.

Thank you for reading and take care.

With love, Isabelle ❤️

(Thank you Liv for the lovely flowers for my birthday, it’s memory for life)

Author: Isabelle

Content writer / editor & Language advisor

18 thoughts on “My birthday thoughts – the story about a ring”

    1. Thank you so much for the birthday greeting and thoughtful words! 😊 I had a good time yesterday. Was supposed to write about something else, more birthday related but ended up with some deeper reflections. Thank you for reading it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Kevin! So good to know you’re Sagittarius too!! It’s the most fun-loving sign in the zodiac I’ve heard. Not bad 😁 Ordered the canvas yesterday. Will send you a picture when it’s done 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Young people aren’t aware of the death until they see it. Their grandparents are the ones from whom they learn this lesson. When they die and later grandchildren remember that they forgot to tell them that they loved them. But you know, Isabelle. GrandParents know they are loved by their grandchildren. Maybe you told her you loved her but you don’t remember.

    I know my grandchildren love me and I am sure they are going to forget that they told me it. of course, we are not going to tell us we love each other because we already know it. The love must be shown by acts more than by words. Your grandmother knew that you loved her and that’s why she wanted to see you. But don’t worry, She knew that you loved her and that you lived very far away from her. And you know. Old people were young too, later parents and they know that their grandchildren have more important things to do and how difficult it is to travel when we are thousands of miles away.

    The important is what you did and how you did it. After we pass away nothing matter. Really. That’s the only lesson we could learn from your experience. What matter is what we do now.

    See, you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for letting me know what you think about this post Antonio! As a grandfather yourself, you’re more experienced than me. Good to listen to your words and then make some reflections myself. So much truth in what you said. You’re so right that at the end, it’s what we do that matters. Love is to be expressed by acts and not (only) words. Thank you for reminding me of it, it’s crucial in understanding the meaning of love.

      Liked by 1 person

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