Eileen Dahill/Minnesota/N.America

The Claddagh ring was hidden in the sweater from Belfast from by my Aunt Eileen Murphy.

When I was in my early 20’s my Aunt Eileen had called our house from Belfast. She had used her neighbor Eileen Smiley’s phone. Things could get confusing quickly because Eileen Smiley’s daughter was also named Eileen. I had not sent a thank you note for the pink sweater which I am sure my Aunt Eileen had had Eileen Smiley’s daughter Eileen try on before it was posted to this Eileen. It had ladybug buttons and was still hanging not yet worn until I had sent my letter of thanks.

My Aunt Eileen was not a softie and got right round to the point. “Did you get it?”
“I did!” I replied. “I am so sorry I did not thank you”.
“Well then, does it fit?”
“Yes, I am going to wear it for a special occasion?”
“Why not wear it all the time?”
“I don’t want it to get dirty.”
The conversation went back and forth for some time. My Aunt Eileen was talking about a Claddagh ring she had sent me sewn into the cuff so she would not have to pay duty. I was talking about the sweater that my Aunt Eileen’s friend Eileen had her daughter Eileen try on for fit before posting. Things were getting very confusing.

My Claddagh Ring

The ring fit perfectly. I remember being embarrassed at the size and weight of it. It could of been a man’s ring. I have hardly taken it off. I have turned the crown to the inside of my hand if I was doing yard work so not to bend it. It has fallen into a mitten a few times when my hands were cold. When I fell off my bike and broke my arm last year I waited until I dragged myself and bicycle back home to secure safely from my swollen arm. I got it off with liquid dish soap – barely.

Lost my Claddagh Ring

My mom likes to go to a nail salon. Her color is baby pink. I went to pay and I could see my Claddagh Ring was gone! The tan mark and the indent from the crown were on my finger. How could this be? I always have known the moment it was off my hand. I searched the salon and reluctantly went home.

Looking for my Claddagh Ring

I was methodical and careful and slow in looking for my Claddagh ring. I invoked St. Anthony in my childhood prayer. “St. Anthony, St. Anthony turn around, something is lost that needs to be found.” I hummed The Old Claddaugh Ring hoping it would come rolling back out to me from under a chair. I was distracted and getting desperate. I live with my mom and her home was beginning to look marked off like an archeological dig. I finally brought in a street team of friends. My friend Patti found it under papers under my desk. I was beyond questioning how did it get there. It was found and on my finger again.

My Aunt Eileen died last year, her neighbor, Eileen Smiley moved away and daughter Eileen now lives in New York. My pink sweater is long gone but my Claddagh ring is back with its small tale to tell on Craic On.