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.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

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.


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