Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Locket

For one of my summer classes, I was given an interesting assignment. I had to choose an artifact that my family has and cherishes. It had to have some age, history and meaning. With this artifact, we have to research it, write about it and we will eventually create a museum display based on it. When the assignment was given, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about... I enjoyed the process and thought I would share it.

Who knew that a simple gold locket given from a teenage boy to a young girl for her fifteenth birthday would become a family heirloom? I’m sure that my grandpa, William, never guessed that when he gave the necklace to his then girlfriend, Mary, that it would become a part of family history.

To ask what this necklace means to me produces a simple answer. This necklace is priceless. It is priceless to everyone in my family. When my grandpa gave it to my grandma in 1940, they soon took pictures to put inside. When they were married the next year, my grandma wore it as she and her boyfriend exchanged vows at the home of the minister. When their first daughter was getting married nearly twenty years later, she wanted a piece of jewelry to wear, so my grandma offered her the locket. Since then three more daughters, ten granddaughters and one great-granddaughter have worn the locket in their weddings. Some wore it around their neck, some around their wrist, and a few had it placed in their bridal bouquet.

Nearly seventy years after the locket was purchased in a small jewelry store in the hometown of my grandparents, I will be the next woman in my family to exchange wedding vows. When I began thinking of what I would use for my “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” there was no doubt in my mind that this beautiful locket would be my “something old.”

The pictures inside the locket are of the happiest, most caring and loving couple I have ever come in contact with. My grandparents were married just short of sixty years when my grandma’s true love passed away after a battle with cancer. They raised a family of eight children and now have nearly sixty grandchildren. They survived my grandpa serving in World War II, financial struggles, health complications, and many more hurdles that couples faced in that era. The fact that they not only got through these tough times, but grew from them, continued to love one another and made the best life possible for their family, is more than an inspiration for me.

Now that my grandma has moved in with my parents, she has passed the locket on to my mom to cherish and provide for the future granddaughters and great-granddaughters to wear on their wedding days.

As I continue to think about the meaning of this locket, tears begin to well up in my eyes and roll down my cheeks. Basically, the locket means everything. It can never be sold, traded, pawned or given away. The value of this necklace is irrelevant. It’s what the necklace and pictures inside symbolize that is most important to me.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - this is a really cool post! The locket is beautiful and it's soooo neat that your family has kept this as part of thier "history!" I'm sure it will be an honor to wear it on your wedding day:)


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