My Grandmothers Pearls

By: Kingston Amadan

My grandmother died last year, and because of storage limitations, our family was forced to finally go through her things and decide what to part with. It's not that we had little interest in my grandmother's possessions which kept us from doing so sooner, just that my family had a hard time coping with her passing and simply left her things alone out of reverence. I, in particular, had a difficult time dealing with her death as we had been extremely close since I was a little girl. I had been in a very long relationship that ended despite my best efforts just prior to her passing, and she made it her life's ambition at the time to guide me through the pain I was feeling.

It's very difficult to go through a deceased loved ones' possessions as you can't help but feel the pain of their passing, but at the same time, comforting when you are able to remember the physical things that you associate with them. My grandmother lived well, as both she and my grandfather who preceded her in death worked hard to make a good life for themselves and their family. In her later years, my grandmother traveled often and relinquished most of her possessions to her children, grandchildren and various charities.

Always prepared for the next phase of existence, she had little left for herself when she passed away except for a few rooms full of furniture and her clothing. While going through the boxes we had packed up after she died, we came across a box that she herself had labeled.

Inside of the box was a note, with instructions on what to do with the contents inside. It seemed she had gathered her most prized possessions and decided where she wanted them to go. These were not prized possessions in terms of monetary value, but prized in that they were special to her, which made them all the more special to us. Items were passed around and given to their intended recipients, and for me, there was a small package with my name written on the outside. I opened the package to find two items.

The first item was a strand of pearls that I knew very well, as my grandmother had worn them almost every day of her adult life. The second item was a picture of her and my grandfather taken right before they were married. The pearls meant so much to her because they were the first present my grandfather ever gave her, and he had saved up for quite a while (as the story goes) to pay for them. I began to cry, as I knew that the pearls were such an important part of her life and how much I must have meant to her for her to pass them on to me. Trying to hold back the tears, I looked at the picture of her and my grandfather, both beloved to me, and began putting both back into the package she made.

I realized something was written on the back of the picture when putting it away and turned it over expecting to find the date of the photo. Instead, my grandmother had written, 'Your true love is yet to come.'

After the end of my relationship, I had cried on my grandmother's shoulder on more than a few occasions because I felt the love of my life had gone. My grandmother often told me that I would know when the real love of my life comes along. The pearls were so important to her because they represented the true love she and my grandfather shared. She wanted me to know that my pearls were still out there, waiting for me.

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