Editor’s note: I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lynn Sollman of Kentucky. I got excited when I heard about a grand idea that she had (see below for her idea and story). It occurred to me that it would not only be fun to share Lynn’s idea with our GRAND readers but also extend an invitation for others to share their grand Ideas too. Please check out Lynn’s GRAND idea and if you have one to share, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY LYNN SOLLMAN
One month before my father, Paul Braun, died at the age of 91, he was honored by the American Legion for his service in the Navy during WWII, and for his 70 years as a dues paying member of the Henryvillle, Indiana American Legion Post.
The post commander and several officers came to my parents’ house one evening and presented Daddy with a new American flag, a Navy flag, a certificate of lifetime membership, and a 70-year gold pin. This was such an uplifting moment for him.
Upon his death, I asked Mom if I could have his pin. I wanted to make a piece of jewelry that I could wear to honor and remember him.
My hometown jeweler in Owensboro, KY and I created a necklace that I could wear every day. I look at that piece and I am reminded of the man he was; loved by his community and family alike, a devoted husband to his bride of 70 years, and the best father a girl could ever want. I am so grateful the good Lord let me borrow him for 63 years.
The day my sister, Jane, and I moved our parents into assisted living, my mother gave my sister her diamond anniversary band and gave me a gold wedding band that contained three small diamonds and two rubies. One diamond had come out of my grandmother, Devore Dietrich’s, engagement ring, one from my mother, Doris Braun’s, engagement ring, and the third from a ring once owned by my mother’s youngest brother, Lowell Dietrich. The band itself had been the wedding ring of my great grandmother, Linnie Dietrich.
I was so honored to have a piece of jewelry representing three generations of women in my family. Then I got a “GRAND” idea on how to make it a four-generation ring.
My jeweler removed my Uncle Lowell’s diamond and placed the diamond from my engagement ring in the center, thus creating the 4th generation. I told my daughter, Alli, “The day you put me in assisted living, this family jewel will be yours.” It’s not ostentatious, but it’s my family, my roots, and one of the two most special pieces of jewelry I will ever own.
About the Author
Lynn Sollman – I’m a retired middle school teacher, who spent 33 years at Burns Middle School in Owensboro, Ky. When I began my teaching career there, in the fall of 1975, I was the youngest on the faculty. When I retired in 2008, I was one of the oldest. I actually grew up there and met many important personal milestones: got married, had 2 biological children and 2 stepchildren, and became a Granmoo to 4 boys and one girl. Melanie, the daughter of my stepdaughter, Heather, is making us proud with her accomplishments at Indiana University. Her brother, Tanner, is in high school and is quite the hunter. My stepson, Chris, produced 3 sons:K yler, Kaden, and Kelby who range in ages from 17 to 7 and all three keep the family entertained on their baseball teams. We are proud of all of them.