I clasped the delicate silver chain around my neck and ran my fingers down to the single pearl.
I love this necklace . . .
The summer I turned 17 I dug out a wallet-sized picture of my mom. Her dark hair cascaded softly over her shoulders. She wore a dark mock turtleneck. And a single pearl.
I found my short-sleeved, purple mock turtleneck. I pulled part of my hair up, and curled the rest to fall over my shoulders, and then I borrowed her pearl on the gold chain.
My hair wasn’t as dark, my smile wasn’t as sweet; but there we were—frozen in time in our matching senior pictures.
As high school graduation approached, I wanted two extravagant gifts. I wanted to go to Michigan with my grandma to see where she grew up and meet my extended family. And I wanted my own pearl.
My parents gave me the invaluable trip back in time. Grandma showed me the plot of land that birthed a childhood full of stories. We climbed through the overgrowth to peer into the massive chicken coop she braved daily while collecting eggs. I met generations of relatives.
And my grandparents gave me my necklace.
I was older than Mom was when she received her pearl. It was her second present from my grandpa. The first was Barbie’s wedding dress when he began dating her mom. Then after proposing long distance from his parents’ home in New York to my grandma in California, he returned with a ring for her and a pearl necklace for my then 8-year-old mom.
The necklace we wore in our senior pictures . . .
This evening, as I took off my necklace, I paused and exhaled a deep prayer of thankfulness for this family and for the amazing man who married my exceptional grandmother, adopted my mother and loves us all.