Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
After visiting Â with Â her Â dadâ€™s Â mother Â this Â weekend, Aislinn brought home some jewelry sheâ€™d bought, plus a few extra pieces from Â 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 Â used not inexpensive Â black crystal beads, with Swarovski gemstone Â beads Â to represent my daughters, me, and each known woman in our matriarchal Â line. Â (I am Lorna, daughter of Katie, daughter of Essie, daughter of Mamie Helen, daughter of Emma, daughter of a Woman Unknown.) The black Â beads represent Â 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, sheâ€™s very special that way.
The other two necklaces? I made them for my mother and Â for Â myÂ Â then Â mother-in-law Â for Â one Â of Â the Â last Motherâ€™s Days that I was Â married. Mother necklaces or Descendantsâ€™ necklaces. I used real pearls and Swarovski gemstones, Â with each crystal representing Â their children and grandchildren, Â in order Â of birth. Â When Â I designed them and chose the beads, I had no idea how expensive they were going to be. My exâ€™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.
Iâ€™ve seen my mother wear her necklace many times.
She understands the meaning and the effort put into the jewelry Â and Â wants Â me Â to Â know Â she Â understands, Â even though it always catches me Â by surprise when I see her wearing it.
I never saw my mother-in-law Â wear hers, ever after that Motherâ€™s Day, but I figured she didnâ€™t like it and so put it out of my mind. Or maybe she just didnâ€™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 Â does understand symbolism and sentiment and had been wanting to make an ultra-fancy necklace, as in â€œDaddyâ€™s Â gonna Â buy Â me Â a Sorelli Â necklace Â but Â you donâ€™t have to buy me one, too, if you donâ€™t want to.â€ LOL! Â Iâ€™m not playingÂ that game, but I did promise Â to help her come up with something unique.
So I agreed to let Aislinn recycle her grandmotherâ€™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 Â design Â of Â her Â very Â own, Â which Â will Â include beads from my grandmotherâ€™s old jewelry.
Sheâ€™s happy. Â Iâ€™m happy. Â And the gift, for whatever reason that doesnâ€™t matter, has been happily returned.