Saturday, June 02, 2007

Love in a locket

This is the locket I mentioned in my last post, the one I'd stashed in a long-forgotten "safe place" and finally found, thank goodness. It's dainty, smaller than a dime, and its value is entirely sentimental.

I wasn't aware of the locket's existence until about ten years ago, when I found a small package from my mother in the mailbox. Inside the package was a tiny box, and inside the box were the locket and this folded, handwritten note:

My mother was barely 19 when I was born. If she were alive today, having had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I'm sure she'd be the first to tell you it isn't a good idea to let a baby chew on something small enough to be easily swallowed. Fortunately, we both survived the experience, and the tooth marks made the locket all the more precious to Mother.

It's special to me because it was special to her. First purchased 64 years ago, the locket traveled with her from Missouri to Kansas and back, then to Illinois and back, then to East Texas, where she kept it for another 40 years before she mailed it to me here in Louisiana. Here, it rested in its safe place until a week ago, when I sat on my bed, chatting with my daughter and hers, and sewed it into the lining of my granddaughter's wedding dress. The locket is her "something old" and has just been elevated to a new level of specialness.

As I write this, my granddaughter, shown laughing with me in this photo shot 23 years ago, is in Negril, Jamaica. She flew there earlier in the week, along with her fiancé, her parents, brothers, close friends, and the dress with the sewn-in locket. Today at 2:00 p.m., on a beautiful Jamaican beach, she will marry the fine young man who came into her life a couple of years ago and eased into our family as if he'd always been there. I don't know if it's possible for them to find more happiness than they've already brought to each other, but that's what I wish for them.

My granddaughter was concerned about the possibility of losing the locket, but I'm not worried at all. There are far worse places than the sands of Jamaica to end one's journeys.


  1. Where DID you find it?

    And the philosophical ending on your post today is perfect. What a blessing you gave your granddaughter as you handed over the locket.

  2. Velvet, what a beautiful post! It makes me 'beam', as my granddaughter calls it. And what a wonderful token of love to have: the locket and the note. The things that are passed from one generation to another, are so precious and so important. And it's what I miss the most about having lost parents and grandparents at a young age.

    You always write so well, and with such feelings. Your last sentence is priceless.

  3. Truly priceless, both the locket, and your wishes for them.

  4. How wonderful! What an incredible journey for the little locket of love... your mother gave it to you, from you to your mother, your mother back to you, then you to your granddaughter. And how powerful the love that weaves the women in your beautiful family...

    I wish I were one of you.

  5. I don't quite know the route I took to get to read your blog today, but I love the story of the locket and it's personal value to you, and to future generations. I hope it doesn't get lost in the Jamaican sand, that would be a real shame. As I enjoyed your story, I kept reading and I think you have a lovely blog, I'll be coming back often.

  6. I'm glad you found it in time to sew it into the wedding dress! That was a wonderful story. Isn't there anything inside the locket?

  7. How sweet. You could sell this story to one of those women's magazines, I do believe. But one more question 'where did the red hair come from?'

  8. A smile on my face and tears in my eyes. What a beautiful story.

  9. what a beautiful post! thank you so much for sharing this with us readers. maybe this post should have a tear factor rating.

    peace and blessings


  10. This was the perfect story to start my Monday morning. How romantice, a wedding in Jamaice, what a lucky girl to have you as a grandmother.

  11. Thanks for your kind comments, folks. I'd hoped you'd be up for a little romance.

    Welcome, ex-shammickite. It's nice to meet you, and I hope you'll come back.

    Now, to answer a few questions:

    Annie, I found the locket right where I'd left it; can't say any more than that. ;-)

    Janet, no, there was nothing in the locket when I got it, and I didn't think to put anything in it before I sewed it into the dress. Knowing Mother, it probably had photos in it at some time.

    Sister-Three, the red hair is a trick of the light or the fading color of an old photo. There's red hair in my family, but mine's a dull brown.

  12. This is a beautiful post, Velvet! It brought tears to my eyes,what a great story and photos!

    That smile on your granddaughter's face is infinitely precious!

  13. Velvet, Incredible post! I just loved the journey of this locket.

    It reminds me of a bracelet that used to be in my Aunt's (Sissy - the one I wrote of before) jewelry box. It was w/ six tiny diamonds spaced around it. It was full of "dents" from my grandfather teething on it while in his mother's arms. I loved those dents so...

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story. My heart is full and I am smiling. ;-}

  14. What a beautiful post! I always enjoy reading your writing but this one is "extra" special.

    Thank you for sharing it with us.


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