My mother’s sapphire necklace appeared around her neck whenever there was an occasion special enough for something so fancy. It wasn’t “church special” or “night out with daddy special” it was “graduation special”, “wedding day special” “look but don’t touch special”… And sometimes if I was lucky, it was “Sunday afternoon play dress up special”.
She knew how I loved it. I loved its sparkle. I loved how it offset her deep blue eyes and I loved the story of how it had come to be handed down to her from her mother who had sewn it into the liner of her jacket before leaving Poland just in time.
Today, though, there were no stories or celebrations. My mother had requested the necklace to be placed around her neck as she lay dying in her bed. “Beth,” she had whispered, raspily, “bring me the sapphire. Today is a special occasion.”
“What occasion, Mother?”
“Today, I move on and the necklace becomes yours. I would like to wear it one last time in celebration.”
“Ok, Mother,” I placed the necklace on her and took her hand. “You look beautiful. You always did when you wore it.”
“My daughter… It is all I had left of my Mother. She died so young. When I wore it to all those events, it was like she was there with me… Watching me get married, seeing you graduate… Beth, it kept her with me and now I want it to keep me with you. Promise you will wear it for all of your special occasions.” She breathed laboriously. It must have taken her so much effort to make her speech. My heart broke open and tears flowed freely down my cheeks.
“I promise, Mother, I will wear it in your honor. You will always be with me.”
“Oh, Beth. I love you.” she squeezed my hand sleepily.
I leaned in and kissed her forehead, “I love you too, Mother. You can rest now.”
Originally published for Instagram’s Romance Writer Challenge June 2019
Prompt day 9 “Family Jewels”