Ramona and I met while working downtown in the late 1990s. She is an effervescent fun loving lady whose career has spanned a number of different people-oriented positions from teaching ballroom dancing to real estate, among other avenues.
Before 2000 we had gone in different directions but kept in touch, meeting for dinner once in a while. It did not take long to discover that this fellow-foodie also loved going to craft fairs and regularly adding to her costume jewelry collection and in time we were at least having dinner together about once a month, and exchanging birthday and Christmas gifts. Nothing elaborate, just some thoughtful gesture, bling worked. With our diversified schedules and interests, we often met many weeks after the occasion.
Today after a meal they call Italian street food at Piada’s in Beachwood, which we both enjoyed very much, we swapped gift bags. When I tore away the tissue paper from a small box I found a pair of dime sized hoop earrings that had the old fashioned screw on backs, long out dated by the very popular pierced earrings. As I looked at them she said, “They were my grandmother’s and my mother kept them in her jewelry box, and they have been in my jewelry box since Mom passed. I didn’t know who to give them to, and I remembered that you don’t have pierced ears and wanted you to have them.”
I put them right on and a warmth came over me that made me feel like a little part of Ramona’s grandmother was with me though I had never met her, I was happy to have this special gift. She liked what I gave her as well, though it was not an heirloom and we wished each other well going our separate ways to get other things done before the bitter cold air chilled us too thoroughly.
The air of close friend ship lingered as I put the special earrings into my jewelry box.