Today, September 28, is the birthday of my daughter, Karin Michelle Walsh Faulkner. Nine years have passed since we last celebrated her birthday in 2008. This day will always be dear to my heart, stirring warm, sweet memories. She enjoyed birthdays more than most and held a high standard for how she wanted to celebrate.
September 28, 1989, she turned 16.
We “adopted” Elsie McCollin, a local senior citizen who had no living family, as a surrogate grandparent and included her in holidays and other family functions. On Karin’s 16th birthday, we invited her to our home. Elsie stood from being seated on the sofa and, as she walked over to Karin, she removed the engagement ring she had worn since age 18, and placed it on Karin’s finger saying that it needed to be on the hand of a beautiful young woman. Her fiancé had gone off to war and never returned. He served as one of the unfortunate members of a troop known as Doolittle’s Raiders in WWII. We found ourselves stunned that she would relinquish the most precious piece of jewelry she owned.
Karin wore the ring on her right hand until her final admittance to the hospital, December 9, 2008. To keep Elsie’s memory alive and in the family, we gave the ring to our son’s wife.