Grandma’s Necklace

Photo Credit – Tara Theresa Hill

Something like this happened to me once, so I decided to write a story about it.  Hope you enjoy!

Sarah was an imaginative child.  One of her favorite games was dress up.  She loved to put on her mother’s clothes and jewelry and pretend that she had been magically transported back to a different time period.  The only piece of jewelry that Sarah wasn’t allowed to play with was her mother’s silver locket.  The locket was oval-shaped with a floral leaf pattern.  Her mother rarely wore it anywhere, so Sarah didn’t understand why she couldn’t wear it instead.  One day she asked her mother, “Why can’t I wear your silver locket?”

Her mother put down the book that she was reading and gestured for Sarah to join her on the couch.  “That locket belonged to Grandma Rose.  It is one of the few things she owned that I still have left.”

“But I’ll be careful.  Don’t you trust me with it?” whined Sarah.

Sarah’s mother sighed.  “It’s not that I don’t trust you with it.  It’s just that it is too precious.  This isn’t a piece of costume jewelry, Sarah.  I would be devastated if something happened to it.”  Seeing Sarah’s disappointed face, she said, “It was my mother’s favorite necklace.  If it gets damaged or lost, it can’t be replaced.”  She put an arm around her daughter’s shoulders.  “Do you understand?”  Sarah nodded, but she didn’t really get it.

A few weeks later, her mother was away at a conference.  While her father was busy working on a project in the garage, Sarah crept up to the door of her parents’ bedroom.  She tiptoed up to her mother’s large, ebony-colored jewelry box and lifted the lid.  A shiver passed over her shoulders.  Sarah knew that she shouldn’t be doing this.  The pretty, silver locket felt cold in her fingers.  Fumbling with the chain, Sarah put on the necklace, closed the jewelry box, then snuck out of her parents’ bedroom before anyone could notice what she had done.

Sarah went down the block to visit her friend, Katie.  When she got there, Katie smiled, “Hey!  Want to see my new dollhouse?”  Sarah rolled her eyes.  Katie was always showing off some new toy.  “That’s kid stuff.  I have something way cooler than that.”

“Oh, yeah?  What is it?” asked Katie.

Sarah reached under her shirt to pull out the silver locket to show Katie, but it wasn’t there.  “Oh, no,” moaned Sarah.  “What’s wrong?” asked Katie.  Sarah unclipped the chain from around her neck and examined it.  It was bare.  “My mother’s locket!  It’s gone!” wailed Sarah.

“Where did you last see it?” asked Katie.

Sarah put the chain back on.  “I came here right after I took it out of her jewelry box.”

“You mean you stole it?”

“No!  I just borrowed it.”

“Did you have permission?” asked Katie.

“Not really…” mumbled Sarah.  “But that doesn’t matter now!  I have to get it back before Mom gets home.”

“Then we’ll have to retrace your footsteps.  It must be somewhere between here and your house.  Come on!  I’ll help you search for it.”

The two girls spent over an hour looking all over the block.  They even checked inside Sarah’s house.  The locket was nowhere to be seen.  The girls went down to the front porch.  It was starting to get dark out.  “I’d better head home,” said Katie.  “It’s almost dinner time.”

“Okay.  Thanks for your help,” said Sarah.  “I’m going to keep looking.”

“You’re welcome.  I hope you find it soon,” said Katie.

“Me too.  Mom’s coming home tomorrow.”

Sarah went back into the house.  After dinner, she went into the living room and grabbed the old family photo album.  Sitting on the couch, she flipped through the pages.  Baby pictures, birthday parties, Christmases, and graduations flashed by along with candid photos.  She stopped at a picture of a greying woman sitting in an armchair reading a book.  She was wearing the silver locket.  Grandma Rose looked back at Sarah over the top of her book.  Sarah had never met her maternal grandmother.  Grandma Rose had passed away three years before Sarah was born.  Sarah knew her mother had been too brokenhearted to name her after grandma, so she had given her “Rose” as a middle name.  “Sarah Rose…” she murmured her own name.  Then she had an idea.

Going into the storage closet, she pulled out three small candles.  She found a lighter and a small ceramic plate in the kitchen.  She filled a glass of water and placed that on her dresser along with the plate and the candles.  Then she took Grandma Rose’s picture out of the photo album, brought it into her bedroom, and shut the door.  Making sure it was a safe distance away, she placed the photo by the candle.  Her mother had taught her about praying to her ancestors and now seemed like as good a time as any.

Kneeling in front of her dresser, she started talking to Grandma Rose.  She told her all about the events leading up to the loss of the locket.  When she was finished, she said, “No matter what happens, I promise to tell Mom and Dad what I did.  I know it was wrong.  I just really wish that I could find the locket so that Mom wouldn’t be sad.  She loves you, Grandma Rose.  If you can hear me and there is anything that you can do, please help me find it.”

As she stood up, Sarah heard a soft, metallic swishing sound and felt something settle on her neck.  She looked down.  The locket had reappeared on the chain.

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