Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
After visiting with her dad’s mother this weekend, Aislinn brought home some jewelry she’d bought, plus a few extra pieces from her grandmother. Every now and then, the girls bring home old costume jewelry from her house or from one of her relatives. This time, one of the pieces was a beautiful pearl and Swarovski crystal neck- lace that had been given to Aislinn with some comment, per my daughter, about not knowing where it came from.
I knew. I recognized it immediately. It was my own handiwork.
Several years ago, I made 5 necklaces. They were special, meant to be heirlooms. For myself and for the girls, I made Matriarchal necklaces. I used not inexpensive black crystal beads, with Swarovski gemstone beads to represent my daughters, me, and each known woman in our matriarchal line. (I am Lorna, daughter of Katie, daughter of Essie, daughter of Mamie Helen, daughter of Emma, daughter of a Woman Unknown.) The black beads represent all the un- known women in the line before us and all the possible descendants.
Aislinn wears her necklace quite often, as she under- stands the meaning and reveres it in a way that most 13- year-olds would miss. In spite of her adolescent rebellion du jour, she’s very special that way.
The other two necklaces? I made them for my mother and for my then mother-in-law for one of the last Mother’s Days that I was married. Mother necklaces or Descendants’ necklaces. I used real pearls and Swarovski gemstones, with each crystal representing their children and grandchildren, in order of birth. When I designed them and chose the beads, I had no idea how expensive they were going to be. My ex’s family was quite prolific!
Saying it was the thought that counts seems trite. All the necklaces were highly symbolic and made with love. I enjoyed making them and enjoyed giving them, and I understand the magick that goes into every effort made by the hands of another.
I’ve seen my mother wear her necklace many times.
She understands the meaning and the effort put into the jewelry and wants me to know she understands, even though it always catches me by surprise when I see her wearing it.
I never saw my mother-in-law wear hers, ever after that Mother’s Day, but I figured she didn’t like it and so put it out of my mind. Or maybe she just didn’t recognize the symbolism of it or how special the gift was meant to be….
Nah. Returning it was her way of rejecting the gift and
therefore me. Okay. No problem.
At least she had the foresight to give the necklace to Aislinn, who does understand symbolism and sentiment and had been wanting to make an ultra-fancy necklace, as in “Daddy’s gonna buy me a Sorelli necklace but you don’t have to buy me one, too, if you don’t want to.” LOL! I’m not playing that game, but I did promise to help her come up with something unique.
So I agreed to let Aislinn recycle her grandmother’s castoff into something special to her. Now she has at least $150 worth of pearls and Swarovski crystal to play with for a new design of her very own, which will include beads from my grandmother’s old jewelry.
She’s happy. I’m happy. And the gift, for whatever reason that doesn’t matter, has been happily returned.