this is the necklace that my mom wore, every day, until the day she passed away. there was a big to-do surrounding this necklace, even after mom died. and understandably so. everyone wanted it. it was so much a part of mom. aunt linda wanted it, because during the time that mom was sick, she wore it. it's what aunt linda wanted to remember her by. dad wanted it also. despite the fact that mom and dad had their differences prior to mom's diagnosis with lou gehrig's disease, they had really made amends prior to her passing.
and...the story behind the necklace is that the three hearts represented dad, my sister, and i...to mom.
however, the further i get into my faith, and the more i grow as an individual, i find that schoolhouse rock had it right....three really is a magic number.
to aunt linda, the three hearts represented mom, grandma, and aunt linda herself. grandpa had passed away when i was twelve years old. and grandma and aunt linda had been the primary caregivers to mom while i was in medical school. (mom had adamantly refused for me to take time off from school to come and care for her. at the time that she was diagnosed, i was just beginning my third year of medical school. mom would have rather cut her own leg off than for me not to achieve my dream....verbatim. however, i did move my rotations around and took off eight weeks during the months of december and january of 2005 into 2006, and it was on december 28, 2005 that she passed away.) so for aunt linda, it was a symbol of the three of them, and the love and camaraderie they had always had.
to dad, it represented mom's love for the three of us, and our family. it represented all our hopes, dreams, frustrations, blessings, and love.
to my sister and i, it just represented mom. as difficult a decision as it was, my sister and i decided to keep it for us. there wasn't much else that we had, physical-wise. we had mom and dad's wedding set and their class rings. however, those were a symbol of mom and dad together. there wasn't anything else in the world that was physical and a representation of how mom felt about all of us as a family.
while i was in medical school and transitioning into residency, and my sister was living 3000 miles away with her (now ex) husband, we asked dad to hang on to it for safe-keeping.
he gave it back to me today.
and now, this simple necklace, with three delicate hearts, all similar and yet differently colored, is in my possession. i'm almost afraid to wear it. and now, this potential heirloom takes on even more of a significance than it ever has before.
three...my dad, my sister, and me.
three...my husband, my daughter, and my son.
three...the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
three...the past, the present, and the Eternity.
three...the Birth, the Death, and the Resurrection.
three...knowing, losing, and meeting again in Heaven.
three...living, laughing, and loving.
three really is a magic number.