Grandma Minnie, my dad’s mom, was good to me. I’ll always remember her warm hugs, smiling eyes and welcoming laughter. She lived halfway across the country so we didn’t see each other much. When we did make it out to the Midwest, she shared stories about my dad as a child, explained the different stitches on her needlepoint projects and took me shopping in fancy shops. Not only did I inherit my grandmother’s wrists and teeth, but also her love of needlework and shopping.
When Grandma Minnie passed away, I knew I wanted to honor her. For years, girls’ and boys’ names beginning with an “M” floated in an out of my head. The baby girl who is named for Minnie has grown up in the blink of an eye and is about to start college.
A couple of months before high school graduation, my mom informed me that she was in possession of Grandma Minnie’s favorite necklace: a gold chain with a gold “M” charm. Would the daughter named for Minnie want the necklace as a graduation gift? I told her, “She already owns an “M” charm necklace and wears it all of the time, so I don’t know if she’d wear another one.”
Complicating matters was the fact that this daughter is a triplet. If my mom gave one granddaughter an initial necklace, she felt it only fair to give her other granddaughter an initial necklace. And what should she give her grandson for graduation? As I said, things got complicated.
Backstory: my mom and Grandma Minnie had a contentious relationship. I sympathized with my mom but, long ago, decided that our relationships were separate and different.
So, I was mystified when my mom decided to keep the charm for herself (her name does not begin with an “M”). I was rendered speechless (really!) after she handed me a box containing just the chain. Apparently, Grandma Minnie was wearing the necklace when she had a heart attack. “The EMT’s ripped it off her neck instead of undoing the clasp when they tried to save her,” my mom related.
“I had the clasp fixed and thought you would enjoy wearing it.” Ummm.
“The jeweler said it was an unusual chain.” Interesting.
Defensively, “I could have given it to your sister!” Hmmm.
And, “Wear it in good health.” Thanks…I guess?
Hon, I am still incredulous. Are you in the “Goodness Gracious, it’s Just a Necklace” category or the “This Gives Me the Heebie Jeebies” category? I won’t judge…I promise!