Best Friend's Heart
Jewellery carries so many memories and so much personality. It is always wonderful to hear the stories behind them and we thank Kate for the story behind her Mother's Best Friend's Heart.
Ask a friend or family member about a piece of jewellery they wear - you might hear a story about them you've never heard before! (And please send those stories to us - we love hearing about meaningful jewellery pieces that people keep for life!).
Pulling out her jewellery box, my mum exclaimed, "I lost it so many times, but it always turned up!"
The little sterling silver heart, which looks like it has been hand-engraved with leaf and flower designs looks tiny in her hand, but I remember it looming large, in great detail, and associate it with my mother's smell and the look of it against her skin. I must have watched it hang over me as she put me to sleep each night, and fiddled with it when she read me stories hundreds of times but never thought to ask her who gave it to her, or what its story was. It was simply part of her - in the way things are about your parents, before you come to understand that they too have a history, and had a whole other life before you.
The little silver heart was given to her by her childhood neighbour, her best-friend who grew up with her in a leafy suburb of Brisbane that smells strongly of Weet-Bix, owing to its proximity to a cereal factory. She'd wear the little heart whenever she could - jewellery wasn't allowed at school - until her first serious boyfriend gave her a little silver apple with a hard nugget of perfume within it. Having never been a perfume wearer, she told me, it's likely the original perfume is still nestled within the pendant.
My mother lost touch with her friend over time and as she moved away from her home town to pursue a career. She has, I think, a certain reticence about reconnecting, in that way that we humans so often do when it comes to people from our past - will they still like me, will we still get along, will I retain my sense of nostalgia or will an adult meeting disillusion me?
She told me offhandedly, knowing exactly how funny a thing it was to say, "It's one of those special things you keep. I don't see it very often but I like to know it's there. Like my friend." I laughed, and my father, preparing his elaborate breakfast (not Weet-Bix) joined in.
Thank you Kate! Hearts are still one of the most popular shapes for keepsake lockets and pendants. In addition to being beautiful to look at, the meaning of a heart can be understood... in a heart beat!