Monday, January 6, 2014
Because It Mattered to Me
My parents were married very young. My dad worked his way up from a box-boy at Jordano's Grocery Store to assistant manager. They didn't have much money, but they were deeply in love. I'm not sure if it was for Christmas, a birthday, or their anniversary, but my dad gave my mom a tiny pair of diamond stud earrings. My mom loved these earrings. Even more so after my father was killed at the age of 25 and left my mom with two small children. When my mother died a few years later, she was wearing these earrings. My sister and I inherited the earrings and decided to split the pair, each taking one earring. I put that earring in my ear and wore it for years in addition to another pair of earrings (because I had two piercings in my ears). I never took it out. It was, somehow, a connection to the intense love my parents shared for only a short time. As silly as it seems, wearing that earring made me feel close to my parents. Since I have very few memories of them together, this earring seemed to capture the romantic notion of their relationship that I've created in my mind. Some years ago, I heard a talk by President Hinckley when he asked women to wear only one pair of earrings. I was devastated. This earring was so close to my heart and represented my parents. I struggled with this request. I wanted to be obedient, but I also wanted to keep this earring close to me because of its sentimental value. I finally decided it was more important to be obedient to the prophet even if I didn't quite understand or agree. I reluctantly placed the earring in my jewelry box where I've kept it since then. I've put it in my ear, without adding another pair of earrings, when I wanted to especially keep it safe. I did this when I moved to Texas. When we were leaving for CO for Christmas vacation a few weeks ago, I wanted to put the earring in so it'd be with me and I could keep it safe (I always take it with me when I travel). I searched through my jewelry box three times, but couldn't find it. I looked through my closet, in drawers, on the floor around the jewelry box. I asked my kids if they'd seen it. No one had, and it was nowhere to be found. Since we were trying to leave for a 16 hour trip, I decided I'd have to search more when I got back to TX. On the drive, I said some prayers and asked that if it was to be found, I'd find it. I thought about it while in CO and even told my sister I thought I'd lost it. It made me sick to think my mom's earring was gone. I felt very sad, but believed that Heavenly Father would hear my prayers and kept hoping I'd find it. When we returned to TX, I was unpacking my suitcase and putting away the jewelry I'd taken for the trip. I dumped out the jewelry and started putting bracelets and necklaces and earrings away. Suddenly, I saw it. My mom's tiny diamond stud earring. It had somehow, some way, gotten into the plastic bag I'd packed other jewelry in. Or did it? Some may believe that I'd inadvertently put it in there, but I know that's not true. I know that I never touched it and never even saw it before we left for CO, which is why I so desperately searched for it. Because it mattered to me, it mattered to Heavenly Father. An earring itself doesn't matter to God, but because I matter to Him, this earring mattered to Him. Somehow, He placed that earring in that plastic bag. This may seem a simple thing, but for me it is clearly an indication that Heavenly Father cares for me, and what's important to me is important to Him. My testimony of His love has been strengthened through allowing me to find the symbol of my parent's love. He loves me. He loves you. He loves us all. And He shows it to us all the time if we will take the time to look. Yes, the earring is my ear right now.