My parents were married when they were oh so young. My mother was 18, my father just 22. They were married at a lovely Catholic church with a full mass in Cerritos California. Their reception my mom says was at an Italian restaurant. She wore a gorgeous handmade gown with lace detail and long sleeves. My mom picked out the lace and dress fabric in Downtown Los Angeles herself. A family friend made her dress and I wish so badly it was kept. A shimmering veil fell by her sides and my father dressed head to toe in white. My parents’ wedding album is one of my most prized possessions, something I look through often. Their wedding was such a labor of love from both sides of the family. So very similar to my wedding where both sides of the family came together to give us the day of our dreams. I love seeing my parents young love bounce off the photographs. My dad looks so timid and excited. My mom looks serene and strong. Your typical newlywed couple, in love with each other and hopes for their future as high as the sky. Looking back everyone says they were too young. Of course they were! But that is what love does to you. It makes you feel unexplainable things and makes you do things that feel right. Their marriage was right, or else I wouldn’t exist! ;) Sadly, they divorced when I was two. Though to be honest, I believe that is when my real life began.
My earliest memories are of playing in my grandparents back yard when they lived in Mission Viejo. My mom nearby. I also remember the way her hands felt on my fat face. My dad tells me often that I have the same hands as my mom. I used to swing in this woven hanging chair my grandma had and got yelled at for slamming the French doors too hard. I remember getting woken up super early and being dropped off at my Aunt Myra’s house because my dad had to work. I remember a bunch of random things from when I was little. During each and every memory though, I remember being extremely happy. (Except that one time when I first started my period and it was my dad’s weekend. My mother told him in a whisper “She started her period” and I sat in the car as we drove away, mortified.) My time split between my parents was like a dream. I got the best of both worlds and some of my most memorable moments growing up were driving in the car with my Dad after he picked me up for his weekends. He would be blasting Toto, I in the back seat. I remember eating a bag a Fritos with wind blowing in my face and the song ‘Rosanna’ playing so vividly for some reason.
I know divorce has negative thoughts swirled around it, especially when it involves children. I understand everyone has a different experience with it. I for sure know it must have been so painful for my parents to go through it. Especially at such a young age. But I am grateful for their decision to part, as it has somehow molded me into who I am today. I’m close with both my mom and dad and I’m beyond grateful that they have remained friends all these 34 years! I’m the product of their young love and I hope I’ve made them proud.
A while ago I was given my mother’s engagement ring or promise ring as she called it. Apparently she wore it on her right hand and my dad gave it to her as a promise to marry her. It was a tiny gold band with a glittery, tiny diamond. I loved it so much but it just sat in my bathroom drawer for years because it wouldn’t fit on my finger. My mother has the skinniest fingers and the tiny ring never fit me. Truthfully the ring wasn’t exactly my style. It just held so much emotion and sentiment within it. From time to time I loved to pull it out and hold it in my hand. I love imagining my parents young love. I think about my dad driving in his little Fiat to pick my mom up for dates. I love thinking about my dad saving his money to buy the ring. I love thinking about how they must have talked about their future. Maybe I love thinking about that because I was their future haha! Here is what the ring looked like.
It was dainty and gorgeous. The setting was a little wild, the diamond set so high. I held on to it for so long and I wanted to wear it. I wanted to see it daily and be reminded of my parents. Of their love. I wanted it to remind me to be patient and kind. Both my parents have shown me patience and kindness numerous times. The ring also symbolized strength as I know my parents were so young and in love. They stood up for their feelings for each other and that is something pretty special.
My friend Chelsey of Starling Jewelry told me two years ago that she has a knack for re-purposing jewelry. She can take anything and re-design it into something equally beautiful. Chelsey had shown me some of her re-designs. All of which were incredible. I loved the idea of making something new again. Though she explained this all to me forever ago, it wasn’t until now that I was ready. I had thought about this long and hard and I decided to have my mom’s ring re-designed into something I could wear everyday.
A single stone gold bracelet is what I wanted and I think it turned out incredible. It is still dainty and flawless like the ring, but now I can wear it everyday and with everything. My favorite jewelry to wear are bracelets and I wear this new one on my left wrist. It lays alone in all its glory and I love looking at it everyday.
Here take a look at what my mother’s ring looks like now …
In the end, my parents are my world and I can only hope I give my children the happiest childhood, despite the pain I personally go through from time to time. I can’t imagine feeling so emotional and torn apart but still keeping it together for my child. Or maybe, just maybe I can. After writing that out I’m realizing that I’m doing exactly that for Mila as I often feel so emotional and torn apart losing my son Ryan. It is truly wild how life works. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we don’t come to understand the reason until years later. Sometimes we never come to understand. Being patience and kind helps as my parents taught me. And facing everything with a smile. Mom, you really did teach me to fight for happiness no matter what. It is so damn worth it!
Just a heads up. This was NOT sponsored in away by Starling Jewelry. I paid for this redesign.