I have a long history with one piece of jewlery. A Go Girl ring, designed by Dian Malouf. She originally designed the ring as a tangible sign of support for girlfriends who were going through cancer treatments. I first wore my Go Girl ring in December 1999 for a dear friend, Patricia, who was fighting Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I bought a ring for her and one for me, and by the time she died in February 2000 there were approximately 25 women wearing the Go Girl ring for her.
I continued to wear the ring for a year after Patricia died, I couldn’t bear to take it off. It was my lifeline to her and I feared the bareness I would feel when I removed it. I finally put it away, but pulled it back out in 2002 for my college roomie and dear friend BC. Patricia, BC and I were members of the same church and BC was a Go Girl for Patricia. Patricia’s Go Girls wore their rings for BC, and new friends were added. BC had a good outcome from her lumpectomy and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
One of BC’s Go Girls was our college friend Lana who lived in Memphis. In the fall of 2004, Lana was diagnosed with lung cancer. She never smoked so this was a total surprise. Those of us with Go Girl rings who knew Lana put them back on, and many of Lana’s Memphis friends also got rings. Lana died in July 2006 and there were many Go Girls from all over at the funeral. You can read about Lana at: http://www.caringbridge.org/tn/lanamason/ .
I had not even had time to think about removing my ring after Lana’s death before BC was again diagnosed with breast and a second type cancer in September 2006.She had to have a lumpectomy and radiation which took us through the end of 2006. There were many Go Girls with BC when she rang the bell at the end of treatment.
So it’s been a quiet couple of years. I’ve been wearing a lovely Alamo ring, also designed by Dian. More on that next week. And then, I got a phone call in February of this year. My precious childhood friend PW called me to say she has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. We grew up together in West Texas. Our folks were good friends so we often played together. We also attended college with BC and Lana. PW was a Go Girl for BC and Lana, so of course the rings have been pulled out for her. I call her The Younger as she is three years younger than me. She calls me The Older. PW lives in Georgia, so it is a comfort to me to put on my ring every morning and think of her. My friend BC says “shooting arrows of prayer upward” *as a Go Girl said to her* and that’s what I do each time I put on my Go Girl ring. PW has had surgery and is currently undergoing chemo; we are hopeful about her outcome. I would be grateful for your prayers in her behalf.
When I look at my Go Girl ring, I don’t see the illness, sadness, disappointment that sometimes comes with wearing it.What I see is the way friends surround someone in crisis and lift them up with support and prayer. I see the way that Go Girls can all be linked in the world, no matter how far away we are. I see the hope that flows from loving relationships and the healing from being a part of a group that loves as hard as they can. I see how touched and honored each friend has felt to know there was a special group of women who went above and beyond to make sure the honoree knew she had the Go Girls behind her. I see my friend looking at her ring and knowing she is never alone. I see my connection to my friend no matter where I am.
Now, the Go Girl ring is not strictly for support in bad times. Dian says she wants “women to believe in themselves.” I’ve given a ring to each of my nieces graduating from high school to remind them I’m rooting for them to succeed. You could give a ring to someone getting married, starting a first job, becoming a mommy. If you would like to have your own Go Girl ring, give a Go Girl ring as a gift, or start your own Go Girl support group for someone, you can find more information here. Click Jewelry, then Endearings. The best way to order a ring is to call the company directly at 214-520-3123. When I order from them, I receive my items quickly. The only thing that might cause a slowdown is if they don’t have your size ring.
Tell ’em Lone Star Lifer sent ya!
Next week’s Friday Faves: A continuation of the dian malouf thread.
All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.