“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” –Robert Frost
We are almost there! My sister and I raise our hands as our parents go faster and faster over the little hills that lead to my nonna and poppy’s house in Arkansas. It’s like our very own personal roller coaster ride that we get to go on every time we visit. Our stomachs would end up in our throats and we would fill the car with little girl laughter.
What seemed like forever is just a few hours and we pull into the gravel driveway at their house, which we lovingly call “The Farm.” It was one of the most beautiful houses I ever saw, and it was the most awesome grandparent house. There was glitter sprinkled on the ceiling that I pretended was stars when I would fall asleep. They had a massively huge garden that we could play in, and a couple of barns to explore as well. They even had a creepy room by the stairs that was the perfect threat if we ever decided to misbehave.
My nonna and poppy were sweet loving people that had grown old together. Being at their house always included special treats like midnight snacks and creamy sugar sweet coffee (which my mother never liked for us to have….geez…I wonder why??). My grandmother always wore a heart shaped diamond necklace that my grandfather had given her for their 25th wedding anniversary. The necklace was not big and gaudy, but simple and sweet. Whenever I would snuggle up in her lap, I would twirl it around my finger and look at it sparkle. She wore it as a reminder of their love and devotion to each other.
As the years passed, and I grew, my grandparents also got older. As life does, it gives and takes away. My grandmother went on to “glory” as she called it. I was overwhelmingly honored to find that she had left me her heart shaped necklace that she loved so much. Although I didn’t have my nonna on this earth anymore, I still have a precious reminder of her. I decided that I would wear the necklace every Easter because it reminds me that one day I will see my grandmother again. I also wear it every Mother’s day to remember the love that my grandmother showed me. Because, you see, when I wore it, it laid close to my heart just as she was close to my heart. It truly was an heirloom.
But, recently, someone came into my home and stole my grandmother’s necklace. They plucked it out of its hiding place, and now it’s gone… forever. It shattered my heart into tiny pieces. It wasn’t like some sort of natural disaster had blown our house of it’s foundation and we lost all of our valuables. Someone who had bad intentions decided something of ours looked valuable and took it for themselves. Someone who didn’t know and who didn’t care about what that necklace meant to me stuffed it in his pocket. I’m sure he didn’t know of my plans to give it to my own daughter someday for her to have a piece of her great-grandmother close to her, as well. I’m sure he didn’t recognize the fact that it wasn’t just a necklace to me….it was a memory. Of course, we did all we could do to recover something like that, but in reality, the odds of getting back stolen jewelry are so very slim. How could someone do this to me? How could someone just come into my home, and take something that is so very dear?
At first, I was overcome with sadness and anger. So many memories flooded my mind…the farm, the piano playing, the smell of my nonna’s coconut lotion. This little necklace that means so much is gone. This reminder of a loving marriage and Godly legacy… stolen. I will never see it again. I thought of all the times I used to run my fingers over it and examine it as I sat on my grandmother’s lap. I thought of how I would lay my head on her chest and hear her heart beat.
But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that although that necklace had so much sentimental meaning, it was really just a necklace. My grandmother is what made it special. My nonna who taught me the love of hymns and would show us off by having us sing in front of the church. She gave me childhood memories on the farm with my cousins where she taught me how to make an apple pie with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar. She taught me the importance of family. She told me that all the answers I will ever need are in the Bible. All of these things can never be taken away because they are safe inside of my heart. They have been imprinted on my spirit. It’s part of who I am…my DNA. That’s her legacy, and that’s the real heirloom.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. Psalms 103:17