I love pearls.
My name, "Margaret", means "a pearl".
Rick often said that I was his "pearl of great price".
In the early days of being a widow, I sat one morning with my cup of coffee, and I reached up to touch the strand of pearls that lay on my neck - a gift from Rick several years before.
- I had found them online at David's Bridal Shop. Fell in love with them, and teased him asking how much did he love me? He looked at them, saw the price at $999 - and said, "Honey, I love you - but not that much!" LOL
- I put that strand of pearls in my "shopping cart" and every so often, I would look at them, drooling all over the keyboard!
- On Christmas Eve, 2007, I took one more look at them. I had decided that enough was enough, and I was going to remove them from the "cart" and un-bookmark the site. I opened the website, and clicked on "My Cart". There was "MY" pearls. But the price was different. I did a quick search to make sure I was seeing the price correctly. I saw where I also had a message. These pearls were on a 24 hour sale!!! I called for Rick to come look. He took one look, handed me his credit card and told me - "Good things come to those who wait! But no more waiting! Order them!" They were $9.99!!!
- Just after the turning of the calendar into the new year, they were delivered. With the Certificate of Authenticity. Beautiful pearls. MY pearls.
Ok, anyway - I reached up that morning in early widowhood and touched those pearls that lay at my neck.
And I considered how they were formed.
A grain of sand got into the oyster.
He did not spit it out.
But rather, whenever it irritated or annoyed him, he would add a layer around it.
Time after time after time.
Until the pearl was formed.
Then, after some research and reading, I realized that if you cut open a pearl that grain of sand would still be there.
It was not dissolved.
It was not cast out.
It was still there, in the midst of those layers.
And that's such a perfect picture of grief.
We cannot spit it out.
We cannot make it dissolve.
We can only add layers around it, every time it annoys or irritates us.
My layers have become a cup of coffee, a conversation with a friend, a good movie that I may have seen a gazillion times already, an episode of "I Love Lucy", a book that holds my attention.
A layer may be watching the sunrise, or seeing a magnificent sunset.
The laughter of a child, or the song of a bird in the trees.
It may be the cool breeze on a warm morning.
Or a nap when I am exhausted.
A message from one of my kids or grandkids, or being tagged on Facebook.
There are a hundred more layers that I depend on these days.
Pearls are not formed quickly, nor easily.
It takes time, pressure, and hard work.
I still have my pearls - even if they are broken these days.