My mother in law had been right – which didn’t surprise me. She was never a person you could fool easily and she appreciated the real thing. It was a shame that she was no longer with us to feel vindicated
A few years before she was niftar she had decided her favorite necklace looked very lackluster and sent it to be professionally cleaned. It contained five diamonds in a gold setting.
When it was returned, she looked it over several times and said “I’m sure some of these aren’t the diamonds that were in it when I sent it to be cleaned. Someone has swapped them.”
No one could believe that a reputable jeweler would do something like that. Perhaps they had been swapped by an employee without his boss’s knowledge. How could she be sure? Everyone secretly assumed that she was imagining it but no one dared to argue with her. And she knew there was nothing she could do to prove it. Even if she sent them to be valued by a different jeweler how could she prove that they weren’t the ones that were in it when she sent it to be cleaned. She sensibly decided to forget about it.
After she was niftar and her will was opened we saw that the five diamonds were left to our five daughters and the gold necklace was for me. We sent the necklace to a jeweler to have the diamonds removed carefully and professionally so that they could be distributed to her grandchildren.
I guess none of us were completely surprised when the jeweler said that most of the “diamonds” were not in fact diamonds at all and were worth very little.
But one of them was real. He had put it clearly in a separate wrapper.
How was I meant to divide them up? I didn’t know and neither did anyone else. My two eldest daughters had over the years been given a diamond ring by their husbands. Our third daughter had knowingly been given a ring with a zircon stone by her husband with the intention of hopefully changing it for a diamond when/ if their finances improved.
None of the girls were upset that their yerusha was not what Bubby had originally intended. They were happy to have something from their Bubby but there wasn’t much point in changing a real diamond for a fake one nor one fake for another, so in the meantime the stones remained in a drawer in our home until they decided what they wanted to do with them..
A few months later our next daughter got engaged and suddenly that seemed the perfect solution to what to do with the only real diamond. I asked my other daughters if they would mind if Bat Sheva was given the real diamond to be used in her ring. We had never been the type to insist on who-pays-for-what and this way at least one of them would be wearing a memento of her Bubba.
They were all very happy at the idea – my only nagging doubt was what about our youngest daughter – should we have perhaps waited for her? But then I decided that I’m not in charge of these things and if Hashem wants her to have a diamond He will arrange it.
Some years later, my mother was also called to Olam HaEmes. She had not made a will but we four daughters had no problem and no arguments regarding dividing up her possessions. Her jewelry was more the fun, fashion kind and we chose some items for our daughters and ourselves. But there was one brooch which my sister suggested we get valued as it looked like it had diamonds in it.
She was right – there were five small diamonds one for each of her remaining unmarried grandchildren.
Hashem had provided for them.