My Grandma B was my dad’s mom. It is funny how there is always a grandma who is a little closer than the other. Grandma B wasn’t it. Though I loved her and I know she loved me. I was the first grandchild so for a while I was pretty much it for everyone. But slowly the other kids came and my Grandma Nina-Mae was the one that was my soft place to fall for most of my life. I was born on her birthday, I was her first grandchild and up until she got really sick, we had a very special bond.
My Grandma B was closest to her daughter’s kids. So it surprised me that shortly after I’d had my daughter I received a funny little note. It came with some old pearls in a special clasped box and a few baby pictures of my dad who had died a few years earlier. The note said: Your dad bought these for me when he was over seas in the Air force. I thought you might like them. They may be worth something since he bought them for me in Korea. It was a funny note. She didn’t end it “Love Grandma” she just ended it. About a month later, she died talking to her best friend on the phone. She had a brain aneurism.
I didn’t care how much they were worth. They meant more to me than I could ever say because of the random way my grandma had given them to me right before she died. Maybe she had a premonition. I am not sure. But it wasn’t so much the pearls, it was that she’d thought of me.
While she was still a little girl, I decided to give them to my daughter on her wedding day. I knew in my heart that they would be hers someday. And always planned the giving to be special. I actually gave them to her at a special gathering of her brides’ maids at a sweet little brunch she put on for those involved. My best friend and I were also invited to it and I thought that it might be the perfect place to gift her with the pearls so that she could decide if she wanted to wear them or if she needed to match a dress to them. She cried and it was a sweet moment. Just as I’d imagined it would be.
When trying to decide if they actually “worked” with the dress, her photographer suggested that she wear them on her wrist instead of around her neck, I have tried to be the kind of mom that sets my kids free and not to barge in with my own agenda or what is in my head or in this case heart. But I have to admit that I was a little disappointed and annoyed with her photographer…. especially when during a dance they broke all over the dance floor, scattering pearls everywhere!!
I think my heart lurched a little, and of course, my daughter was devastated. But what actually blew me away was how all the groom’s men got down on their hands and knees and deposited 4 pearls, and 7 pearls and 5 pearls and 4 pearls and 8 pearls… into my daughter’s hand. It was the sweetest thing I ever experienced. Sure the string of pearls seemed so important at first. After all my daddy gave them to my grandma…. But over the years I have had to remember…. That the best things in life aren’t things.
And that it is those sweet unexpected moments where these grown up boys got down on their hands and knees to rescue my baby’s pearls. I knew without a doubt that these friends her husband had chosen to stand up there with him as he married my daughter represented what I’d always wished for, for her and that the best things in life are definitely not things!
I am in charge of the Marquee at my work; Today’s saying