Two years before my mom died, I bought my mother a beautiful pair of opal earrings. I wanted to get her something she would treasure.. something she would never buy for herself. I wanted to do something for her because of all the quiet things she did for me. For me, it was no small purchase.. but for her, it meant the world.
I remember joking with her at the time that, being her only daughter, it would eventually come back to me. I never realized that my time with her would be short. At the time, my mother was healthy and active. Pancreatic cancer changed all that. Two short years later, I watched her become a shadow of her self and felt utterly powerless to help. I remember thinking at the time that she was truly the love of my life. I wished I could take her place but I knew in my heart she would never allow it. And so, two short months after diagnosis, I held her hand, gave her permission to leave, and watched tearfully as she took her last breath. The earrings which were meant for her now became mine. A constant reminder of the love we shared with each other… mother and daughter.
I have been wearing those earrings a lot lately. Maybe it is because they give me comfort. Maybe it is my way of being close to her when I need support. But today, a friend noticed that one earring had fell out somewhere along the way. In that moment, I lost hope of ever finding it and knew it could never be replaced. I was saddened and disheartened but I accepted it. I tried to tell myself it was only a material item but knew in my heart it meant more.
But then, just as I had let it go…. it came back. It was found in the elevator of my office building by the same friend who noticed its loss. I immediately saw this as a sign. A heartwarming reminder that all that is lost is not gone forever.