Friday, January 30, 2009

Remembrance of Things Past

The day before I left for my great-aunt's funeral, I was packing and deciding what to wear to the service--a brown and ivory print jersey wrap dress, sheer hose, and heels--and it occurred to me that a gold necklace, not silver, would go best with my outfit. Only I didn't think I owned any gold necklaces. In fact, I was sure of it: I didn't have any. But something compelled me to open my old jewelry box anyway. I didn't even know why I was looking. But I did.

There, nestled into one of the velveteen compartments, was a gold oval-shaped locket with my initials engraved on the back, that my great-aunt (and great-uncle) had given to me for my confirmation, when I was 15 years old. I swear to you, I had not thought of this locket in probably 15 or 20 years. I'm not even sure I ever wore it; at 15, I had no appropriate photo to place inside, and wasn't interested in delicate jewelry. But there it was. And in an instant I knew I could cut out the tiny faces of my daughters from an extra holiday card I had saved and hung on our refrigerator door, to fit perfectly inside the twin inner photo nooks of the locket. While my girls napped, I did this, and the photographs did fit perfectly; they were just tiny enough--two miniature faces for two tiny spaces.

I still can't quite believe the whole thing.


donna said...

What a beautiful story. Are you back from your trip? Hope all went well.

Shan said...

I'm back. I did the whole trip in 30 hours total. It was worth it--the funeral service was just beautiful, and it ended up being so important to me to be there with my giant maternal extended family to say goodbye to this matriarch of us all. The girls were fine at home with C., and I listened to an audio-book the entire way up and back (Anne Tyler's Digging to America--so engrossing, lovely and perfect).

Unfortunately, I did get a very expensive speeding ticket during a very uncharacteristic lapse in attention. SIGH.

Mnmom said...

It was a message from your aunt - she wanted you to know how much she loved you - I truly believe in these connections and you know I'm not a religious nut. I believe our loved ones pass to another energy level, if you will, and stay connected with us in many ways if we are willing to see them.

Shan said...


I agree with you. I'm a confirmed "who knows?" kind of person when it comes to religion, but that just means I never count out heaven or anything else--it could certainly be. And I, too, believe that there are many things we can't see or understand that do indeed happen, like loved ones watching over us or sending us signs after death. It's such a comforting thought, especially about someone like my great-aunt, who, like my grandma, was just an all-around loving good person, someone you just knew was always in your corner.