family ties

From his recent trip to Boston, Jeff brought me back a truly gorgeous, green-gold tie from the MFA store.

On Thursday, when we were picking out a suit and accessories to take to the funeral home for Dad to be dressed in, Mom told me to take any ties of his that I wanted to remember him by; I chose two, one an abstract sky blue and gold pattern on a violet background, the other a tie from Harrods that I’d given to Dad after a trip I’d taken to England in 2000 with small gold foxes and hunting horns on a red background (Dad’s longtime nickname was “Fox,” as in “Crazy like a…,” and he collected foxes).

In the course of writing this entry, I was reminded of another incident from the weekend, among the most personally touching and emotional but which I had neglected to include in my Day 3 entry. On Saturday before we left for the viewing at the funeral home, Mom called me aside into the bedroom and shut the door. She then placed a ring in my hand, a signet engraved with the initials for the first and last names shared by my grandfather, father and myself. The ring had belonged to my grandfather, my mother said, and upon his death had gone to my father. She said that Dad had always said that if anything happened to him, he wanted the ring to come to me. A fit for my middle finger, it was much too small for my father’s significantly larger fingers, so I don’t recall ever having seen it or having known of its existence. But it’s an interesting connection with my paternity, and a beautiful, simple piece of jewelry, and its passing to me at that time and in that way created a special emotional moment between my mother and me.