Polishing the past

I’ve written about my necklace before. It was a gift from my ‘minions.’ My girlfriends who cheered me through my son’s chemotherapy. Who set up his service perfectly. Who cried with me. Who send me notes of how they, and their children, remember him, regularly.

My girls, my squad, my people. I couldn’t survive this life without them. Several of them have agreed to start volunteering with me monthly at the Ronald McDonald House. A place that was our ‘home away from home’ when our baby was sick. A place that gave me a job right after I lost him, when I didn’t know which direction was up. A place that now and forever will hold a piece of my heart.

But my necklace was given to me by this group of girls, just two months after we lost our sweet son, on my first Mother’s Day without him. It’s become tarnished, and dirty, over the last three years. It says, ‘with love’ in the inscription and has his initial. It’s perfect and feels like a piece of him lays close to my heart. So, I rarely take it off. And as a result, it’s a little gross.

I was teaching a class at work this week. I teach twice a week, a course on food safety, to current employees. It has given me a chance to put a face to the name of people I talk with frequently and also given them a chance to get to know me and connect with me personally. I don’t love taking time out of my routine to stand in front of others and make them listen, but so far, the material has been well received and typically the sessions go well.

This week, one of the girls in the class came up to me afterward and asked to look at my necklace. She picked it up off my neck and mentioned some designer and what a big deal it was. I was kind of embarrassed and said it was a gift and I had no idea. “Your friends must really love you.” She said.

Duh. I mean, I obviously didn’t say that, but yes, I am the luckiest girl in the world. I know nothing about jewelry, but I do have the best friends in the world. They remind me every single day that I am a good friend, a good wife, a good mother. Things that I have trouble remembering, all the time.

Anyway, I decided to look up the designer when I got home. I’m pretty sure the necklace cost more than my engagement ring. To be fair, my engagement ring was my grandmother’s wedding band and cost my husband nothing, and probably cost my grandpa $100 bucks in 1950something. But you get the point. It’s a really nice necklace. From really good friends.

So I perused the website and learned how to clean it with a little mild dish soap and a toothbrush. I polished it, and it looks almost new again. Three years loved, but almost new.

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