Here let wisdom rise, Oh, here let wisdom rise!
Being an adult at Christmas means that you are the one who creates the surprises. That’s really the fun part, and I do look forward to it when I have made arrangements for something very special and can’t wait to see the reactions of the gift recipients!
However, the tables were turned on me this year, when Shannon and Joel surprised me with a most special and VERY unexpected gift… a new class ring.
Thirty years ago I received my 1977 class ring in a traditional and funny ceremony at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (Lynchburg, VA). We were at the mercy of the undergraduates and had to go through a wacky scavenger hunt to ‘earn’ our rings (I have photos… don’t ask to see them!).
How proud I was of that ring, and how handsome it was! It was a carved onyx signet ring set in gold, fitted to my fifth finger, and I loved it. I wore it every day, and have had a number of people recognize it over the years, which was really neat, because R-MWC is a very small school.
Eleven years ago, our (previous) house was burglarized, and one of the things the thieves took was my ring. Of all the things they took, that was the one that hurt me the most. Although I knew I could replace it, I never did; other things seemed more important at the time.
This past fall, the Board of Trustees at R-MWC elected to open admission to men in the fall of 2007. With this decision comes a change in the name of the school; it will now be simply Randolph College. My family knows how disappointed I am, because the education I received at this very special college was something that was so personal and memorable, I cannot begin to explain how much I loved that school. It will no longer be that which I knew and loved, and although they can’t take my memories away, I grieve for the current students who loved our special college, and I feel sorry for future prospective students who will never know the magic of being a student at R-MWC.
So when I opened this small box on Christmas morning with four expectant eyes looking at me, I had no idea. When I saw what it was, I just about cried. I am not a teary type, in general, but given my emotions about the recent decision, to actually see the “R-MWC” engraved on that ring made me so. It is a perfect replica of what I lost, with the one exception that my initials within now include my married name.
Of course, once the package was opened, I heard all about how it came to be: the plans, the schemes, the calls back and forth, the attempts at figuring out the size, etc. It made me feel so loved that my family would create this wonderful surprise for me.
How I will cherish it! Words cannot even begin to say how much I love having that ring on my finger again. The Latin inscription on the seal means “The Life More Abundant”, and I like to think that my life reflects that motto. Certainly my precious family makes it so, and because of them, I can truly say that I know it is so.