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  • During a trip to Buenos Aires, I was invited to a neighborhood grill for dinner. I sat next to Susanna and enjoyed a family’s good company. Susanna wore an array of beautiful jewelry that evening, but it was her gold and lapis lazuli ring that caught my eye. While I don’t usually remark on such things, I complimented Susanna on the ring and asked her where it was from. This is what she said:

    "You know Riki, it is funny that you should ask. This ring has a story. Years ago, Pablo and I went on a Greek island cruise with your parents. When we reached Santorini all the señoras went their separate way and spent a leisurely afternoon wandering from jewelry store to jewelry store looking for just the right purchase. I went into one shop and found a magnificent lapis bracelet and ring set. The design was gorgeous, and the deep-blue stones perfectly matched. I decided I should look around a little more before committing myself to such extravagance.

    Later, once I made up my mind to buy the set, I returned to the shop and found to my great disappointment that the ring I wanted was gone! The set had been split, and the ring was sold that same afternoon. Well, I decided to buy the bracelet anyway and settled for a similar ring, which was nice, but not the equal of the other.

    That evening, back on board, all the señoras compared their purchases over dinner, as was our custom. When it was your mother’s turn to reveal what she found, I was shocked to discover that she was the one who bought my ring! I called her a viva - in jest of course, because what could I say once Ana told me she bought it for your grandmother?

    Years later, after your grandmother passed away, your mother surprised me by offering to exchange my ring for the one your grandmother wore. I was very touched that Ana remembered that little moment so long ago and that she kindly offered it to me when it had such added sentimental value. So you see, Riki, this ring you have complimented me on tonight, quite by fate, is actually your grandmother's ring. I will treasure it always and forever remember your mother's kindness."

    After telling this tale Susanna was transported, in deep reflection, to someplace faraway. In the quiet of the moment, I saw no matching bracelet on Susanna's wrist, but watched her absently spin Grandma’s gold and blue ring around-and-around her finger.

    Image: African chatzky
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