The Locket.

My annual Valentine’s Day post is usually brimming with images of spoiled-rotten squirrels scurrying around and devouring heart-shaped treats, but this year I decided I’d do something different.

I’ve mentioned before that my late mother’s birthday was Valentine’s Day – she would have turned 96 years old today. I want to share this story as I remember Mom with much love.

Many years ago, prior to meeting and marrying my father, Mom had a good friend named Harry. As I understand it, Harry was not a suitor, (a rather archaic term for a man who pursues a romantic relationship with a woman with the expectation of marriage), nor was he a gentleman caller, the likes of the gents mentioned in the play The Glass Menagerie – Harry and my mom were just good friends.

Harry’s passion.

Everyone has a passion … for a person, or a hobby and Harry’s passion was art. He loved to draw and paint. The two images you see in this post were created by Harry. This painting of Mom in a business suit was given to her when she completed her curriculum at Shaw Business College in Toronto.

The other painting is the header image of Mom wearing a blouse, which color surely would have rivaled her blue eyes. She is wearing the locket that will be the subject of today’s post.

Harry had a heart of gold and he gave Mom a heart of silver.

Mom was lucky to have Harry in her life. She told me he doted on her, was kind and thoughtful and sometimes gave her presents, like the sterling silver, heart-shaped locket she is wearing in the photo up top. It was a present for her 20th birthday. Truthfully, I’ve often wished Harry would have become her husband – perhaps she would have had an easier life than that with my father, but of course my musings are silly because I wouldn’t be here then.

A local high-end jewelry store runs a radio advertisement for their jewelry exchange. The ad asks “do you have heirloom jewelry which is outdated and you don’t like – well we can take it off your hands for you.” Well, being a sentimental sort, this ad makes me a little sad. I had two treasured pieces of jewelry given to me by my mother and I lost both of them.

The first was this pretty silver locket and I remember that day like it was yesterday.

Mom gave it to me on Valentine’s Day when I was a young girl. She asked me if I would like to wear it to school for Valentine’s Day, and, if I liked it, it would become mine. “Do you like it Linda?” she asked. “Oh yes – I love it Mommy!” was my instant reply. The locket was beautifully crafted, with engraved etchings on the case. Inside was powder blue satin with a plastic insert on one side in which to place a photo, but the locket was empty. Mom slipped the chain over my head and even double-checked the clasp to ensure it was fastened securely. As you see in the photo, the locket was on a fairly long chain, which links were delicate and ornate. I got to school and showed my friends and while in class, I fiddled with the locket, opening and closing that heart, plus twiddling and twisting the chain. Sadly, while walking home from school that afternoon, perhaps my coat or scarf had become entangled with the jewelry, which caused the chain to break and fall into the snow. My father and my friends retraced my steps home and we checked the hallways at school to no avail.

If I were my mom, I would have been angry and never given me a piece of jewelry again, but when I was a little older, (and hopefully more sensible), Mom gifted me with another piece of jewelry, a small and delicate gold ring with her amethyst birthstone.

At least I had that ring longer than a few hours, but, not long afterward, I was at the movie theater with my parents and in twisting and playing with the ring, it slipped off my finger, and, though we searched between seat cushions and scoured the floor, the ring was lost forever. That time my mom was angry at me and said “I have no more jewelry pieces to give you now Linda.”

I was crushed, but also remorseful for being so reckless and irresponsible.

Years later I lost a hatpin my grandmother gave me to secure my hat to walk to St. Helen’s church for Midnight Mass and I wrote about that incident a few years ago. If you’d like to read that post, you can find it by clicking here.

All these years later, those incidents bother me, but the loss of Mom’s heart-shaped locket especially tugs at my heartstrings every February 14th.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
This entry was posted in Memories, Valentine's Day and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to The Locket.

  1. J P says:

    I can see why you would be upset. It wasn’t due to carelessness either, it sounds like you were being quite careful. How nice, though, to have it in the picture of your mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I felt horrible JP – there I was, trusted with something valuable and a keepsake, then promptly lost it. I am lucky to see it in the picture though as you say. I decided since I dwell on it every Valentine’s Day, it would be a good topic to write about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    I once innocently gave a beautiful pink coral necklace that had once belonged to my paternal grandmother to the woman who did our laundry every week because she had admired it – I was only six. You can imagine my father’s ire, but, to his credit he acknowledged the gift for what it was. As a teenager I was heartbroken to lose a beautifully enamelled daisy bracelet that had been my mother’s since she was a young girl. She and I searched for it to no avail and I still feel ‘bad’ about that. I hope that whoever found the jewellery you missed has made good use of it and loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you for sharing your misfortunes with your family treasures Anne – it makes me feel better. How easily it was for both of us to lose cherished items that we could have kept forever, yet another item, maybe not so cherished, stays put and never strays far from our sight.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. peggy says:

    A nice story about Harry and your mother. It is sad that you lost the lockand and ring.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………thank you for the 2 sad sweet stories of an innocent young girl…………………..we all lose things and are remorseful…………………it was meant to be and what remains in your heart is only love………………………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That is a beautiful thought Ann Marie – thank you for sharing it with me. I will always feel badly, but as someone else pointed out, the picture will always be a reminder of that heart-shaped locket.

      Like

  5. Ari says:

    The memory of those treasures remain, and their connection to your dear mother. We all lose things and just remember all the care and effort you put in trying to locate them. That shows true devotion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Ari – I felt so badly and remember the incident so clearly to this day. You are right of course – we lose things, unintentionally, while other non-sentimental items never seem to be lost, but we did try to locate both items.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandra J says:

    The memories are what we old close to our hearts. I have also lost things over the years that were memories of an older generation. I lost a ring of my grandfathers as well, but as time goes by I don’t think of the ring much but my memories of him are still there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. trumstravels says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of the locket and ring. I worry about everything so that would be on my mind forever, even though these things happen. Your Mom was beautiful and what a great friend Harry was to her. I feel he cared for her deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie says:

    I am so sorry that you are feeling sad about the loss of the locket (and, of course, your mom) on her birthday, Valentine’s Day. I write a post one time where I described how our house was burglarized and all of my mother and grandmother’s jewelry was stolen. The piece I miss the most is a locket of my grandma’s with her initial ornately etched on the front.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Laurie – I think about it every year on my mom’s Valentine’s Day birthday and feel the loss more acutely since her passing. I do remember the post, or perhaps you had a later post and linked to that post, since I have been following you. I think having the jewelry stolen would be worse … you’d always wonder where those cherished items went and who was enjoying them. In my case, they might never have been found.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah Davis says:

    Enjoyed the story about your mom and Harry.

    I understand the pain of loss. I lost a ring that was made foe me from my mother’s and grandmother’s wedding rings. It makes me sick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Sarah – glad you enjoyed the story. Oh, that would make me feel sick as well, losing a piece of cherished jewelry spanning three generations. I share your pain reading this. I suspect it will haunt you for years, as it does me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sad for you over the loss of those precious pieces. You do have the memories of how much they and your mom meant to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The locket and ring were not supposed to be yours Linda. You sent them on their way in this world.
    Now tell us a story of something you found that was destined to be yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Eilene Lyon says:

    I can understand how you would have felt as a child losing these precious items. It just happens. I miss items of jewelry that were stolen from me when our house was burglarized in 2013. Not stuff I would wear, but very sentimental attachments. The images of your mom are a treasure in themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Another blogger similarly lost jewelry items with sentimental value from a robbery at their house – it is very unfortunate for both of you. Glad you like the images of my mom Eilene – I thought of you when I put them into the post as we’ve often discussed old, (dare I say vintage), pictures. I have a baby picture of my mom on a rug – it is not in stellar condition but I may use it in 2026 to commemorate what would have been her centennial birthday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eilene Lyon says:

        I expect you probably have those on display in your home. I wish I had more space to put family photos. We are so fortunate to live in an age when we can preserve the likeness of the people who matter most to us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Actually I do not have them on display Eilene – but I will down the road. I have them in a box stored away. I need to get some nice frames for them and the one with the locket had some spots on it from being pressed against a page in the album, so I was thinking since I have the digital version as a back-up, that I should have the original fixed by a photo refinisher. My friend had that done with some photos and was pleased. After my mom passed away, I got frames for several of the photos in the albums and put them on display. I did not take as many photos the last few years so I wanted some happy pics around. Some of the photos, including a B&W photo of my mom as a young woman are in this post:
        https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/05/14/photographs-and-memories/

        Liked by 1 person

  13. When the granddaughters were around 8 I wanted to give them a pair of “good” earrings. Their mother said no. They routinely lost whatever jewelry she had and they weren’t responsible enough. They are now 16 and I remembered that I never did give them a nice piece of jewelry. Perhaps it’s time. I’m sorry for the loss. Some things just weren’t meant to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s not the locket but what is in your heart that counts. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your mom was so beautiful Linda! I’m sure that was upsetting losing the jewelry but they are just things. What I like most about your mom is the memories you always share with me. Those can never be replaced or lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Diane – my mom and I do not look alike in the least. I always wanted her blue eyes and black curly hair and I got stuck with gray eyes, glasses and mousy brown, straight hair and I look like my father. Yes, I still feel badly and I later lost a ring my parents bought me – I didn’t mention it in the post as it was bought for me – my birthstone is diamond. The ring was cubic zirconia and I was at a Neil Diamond concert at Joe Louis Arena and it was in Winter. It was an indoor venue, but very cold as it was a big place. I was clapping, the ring flew off … once again we looked for and alerted the stadium, but no ring. I felt badly, but not like for this. You are right – memories are more important be they jewelry, events or food – so many of the recipes you make remind me of my mom’s meals she made … I realize how lucky I was in many ways.

      Like

  16. The paintings of your mom are fabulous! You can tell that she and Harry had a great connection as her face looks so relaxed and happy. I would also feel sad and mad at myself if I had lost a heirloom item and think over and over of how it was lost. But your mom’s heart for you was so special to give you her special jewelry. Like others have said, the memory is more valuable than what was lost.
    She was a lovely woman. 🙂 Hugs…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Esther – I’m glad you liked them and I am glad I shared the story of the locket (as well as the birthstone ring) because everyone has been kind and saying, just as you have, that memories are more valuable and I should essentially not beat myself up over it as these things happen.

      Like

      • It’s easy to beat ourselves up when it happens from one second of carelessness. That’s so annoying and it happens to everyone.
        I’m glad you feel better after sharing! Hearing that it’s ok from others does wonders for the soul. Hugs…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it is easy to beat yourself up – I have felt badly all these years about it, though I was young and probably not responsible enough to have good jewelry. My parents bought me a birthstone ring and I was at a concert and clapping and it flew off and was lost. I was an adult then. It fit fine, but it was in a big arena in Winter and not heated well and my hands were cold and it got lost.

        Like

      • I wonder how much valuables the concert venues find after an event. People say those things can be replaced, but they still cause pain and regret.
        The first part of your comment is true; you were so young when you lost the locket. Maybe if you want, you could treat yourself to something similar as closure to the lost treasures.
        Warm hugs…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, and they probably never report them to “lost and found” either. I even went on a radio show the next morning. My mom listened to a radio program every morning, so I called in as the radio host had a daily segment “what’s bugging you?” So I told him what happened, hoping someone would find it or know someone who did. But no such luck. Yes, that is a good idea Esther – luckily I can look at the photo and see the locket. Thank you for your hugs and thoughts.

        Like

  17. Pam Lazos says:

    What a sad yet lovely story, Linda. I’ve lost or had countless pieces of jewelry stolen that I still think about bit at the end of the day they are just things a s your momma’s love was the prettiest thing in the bunch so kudos to you for having such a special mom. ❤️♥️💗

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Joni says:

    What a wonderful if sad story Linda. I had a locket when I was in grade school and still have it, and I think my mother might have one too. I’ll check out her jewelry box tomorrow. I left a comment on the hat story – hope you can still read it even if it is an older post do comments show up? Both great posts! Your mothers friend was a good artist. I’m sure he must have had a crush on her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I did get the comment on the hats and hatpin post and yes they do show up as I sometimes have forwarded a link from the past … comments are okay, but sometimes I’ve found pictures missing which I don’t understand? I enjoyed reading about your similar coat and Lady Diana hat … well, we often say we are sisters separated at birth! I am glad you liked the story Joni. I have been going to do a post on that locket and the artwork for a while and had thought to wait until when my mom would have turned 100, but I think for 100, I’ll use a collection of vintage photos, some tattered a little, some sepia prints. I don’t do a special post every year for Valentine’s Day – once I did a post on my mom giving me her fuzzy pink sweater to wear to work. I bought it for her birthday and I wore it with a navy skirt and by the time I got to work I was covered in fuzz! It was a funny post but it took me forever to clean off my desk chair and that skirt with a lint roller! I never met Harry and I really think he doted on her – she deserved it as she had a rough life after the car accident and my grandfather was hateful … like leaping from the frying pan into the fire with my father. Harry was a nice sorbet in her life.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Ally Bean says:

    I understand your sadness. It seems like an unnecessary cruelty in life when you lose a piece of meaningful jewelry. I’ve done that and still wonder how I let it happen. Sometimes I think about buying myself a replacement piece but then the idea passes. It wouldn’t be the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, you are right about that Ally. My parents bought me a birthstone ring and I was at a concert in the Winter. It was an inside venue, but cold inside. I was clapping and the ring flew off my finger and also not found. That time I was not twisting it or fiddling with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Michael says:

    how very fabulous a post…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dave says:

    It’s a touching story, Linda, and I can see why the locket comes to mind every Valentine’s Day. Take comfort in the vivid memories you have of this gift; the loss itself perhaps cementing the image in your mind. Your story reminds me of the one time I (briefly) lost my wedding ring several years ago. I woke up one morning with no ring on my finger but didn’t notice until hours later. I then tore the house apart and racked my brain trying to remember when I would’ve taken it off (and I NEVER take off my ring). At long last, I found it at the foot of the bed, under the sheets and over the edge of the mattress. Must’ve been an active night of sleep or some kind of weird dream!

    Your mother’s friend Harry is a rare breed, offering friendship and gifts with no strings attached. Where is that person in today’s world, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Dave – I have always dwelled on that incident – every Valentine’s Day. The ring not so much as that locket. Yes, Harry was special and maybe people were kinder to one another back in that era (post WW II). Perhaps that event brought people closer together after all they had been through. I don’t know anyone like that in today’s world to be honest. People don’t seem to respect one another anymore.

      What a scare for you with the wedding ring and how it slipped off your finger just like that! My parents bought me a birthstone ring when I got older. My birthstone is diamond, but this was a cubic zirconia stone. I was at a Neil Diamond concert in the Winter with my friends. The arena was large and not well heated. I was clapping and the ring flew off my finger, never to be found. I was not careless, but I think my hands were very cold for so long that my fingers shrunk.

      Like

  22. Hi Linda. I’m late to the comment section since I get all your week’s posts at once. Anyway, what sad, sweet stories. I can’t imagine how horrible you must have felt. It looks like you still have those wonderful pictures of your mother and the memories they evoke. I hope you don’t beat yourself up too much about losing the jewelry. Accidents like that happen, especially when we are young.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Janis – thank you for your kind comment. Since I digitized my photos and these paintings back in 2017, I have wanted to write this post and decided to do it this year. And I’m glad I did because others, just like you, agreed that maybe I was harsh on myself remembering this lost locket every Valentine’s Day and I was young … we hope we get more responsible as time goes on in our lives. I am lucky to have the picture which shows the locket – so that is a blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Margaret says:

    Platonic relationships interest me, although it’s hard to tell how Harry really felt about your mother. Unrequited love perhaps. I too would regret the loss of those keepsakes, especially since your mother is also gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I always thought it was an interesting relationship too Margaret. But my mom had a hard life before meeting Harry … she was hit by a car at age 11. She suffered broken ribs and tore her clothes. But … because she had an ear infection at the time of the accident, a few months later the ribs that were broken became infected resulting in osteomyelitis. So she spent the next four years in a pediatric hospital. When she got out, she went to business school . She was close to her mother, but her father was terrible to her. Harry was very kind to her. I always felt badly for losing those keepsakes.

      Like

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