Passing On

As we sit around the table for my Dad’s birthday my Mum says quietly, “See this ruby ring that I had for my 40th wedding anniversary? I want Florrie to have it when I’m gone.” I look at her.
“You are having my engagement ring and I want Florrie to have this one.” The ring moves a little on her knuckle as she touches it. She seems determined that I will agree to do this for her. “Okay.” I say after a moment.
Florrie, who is deep in conversation with my Dad, looks over at me and says, “Are you ok? You look a bit sad.” I realise that this is supposed to be a joyful birthday celebration for my Dad. He is seventy eight today and my Mum was eighty in the summer. Yes I’m sad.
I smile, as expected, but it doesn’t reach my eyes.

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