A long time ago, in that other lifetime when I had a toddler and a baby, I considered getting my ears pierced. Having grown up Mennonite, when my parents never even had wedding rings, jewellery was a little suspect. I liked pretty things, but preferred rings and things to be small and unpretentious. And so I couldn’t quite decide — did I want to have my ears pierced or not?
I’d almost decided not when, for Christmas, 1979, Volker gave me a pair of opal and gold earrings. I have a fondness for opals, the way they aren’t just one colour, the colours seem to move inside the milky whiteness of the stone.
These were tiny, quite unpretentious. Hand-made by a man I’d known in highschool they’d cost a ridiculous amount of money for the financial shape we were in. They were beautiful. I got my ears pierced.
In March 2013, in Santa Clara, the evening before I was getting on the airplane to return home I realized one of my earrings was missing. I figured I’d lost it while playing with Mina. I did a search, but couldn’t find it. I felt so bad. Those earrings are very special to me; after all these years, to have lost one….
I was so relieved when Trina sent me a message the next day that she’d found my earring! I had to wait till my next visit to California to retrieve it but that was not a big deal, as long as I got it back!
Well, recently again I realized one earring was missing. Again I looked for it. I found the back, but not the earring itself. Again I felt so disappointed. But then I decided that I could take the one remaining earring to a goldsmith and have him/her make a matching earring for me. No, it wouldn’t be the one Volker gave me, but I’d still have a set.
That evening, as I stepped on the mat in the bathroom I felt something under my foot — Yes! it was my earring! Relief flooded me again. I was so grateful that I had the original back.
But I wonder, should I put them away to ensure I never lose them? No, I don’t think so. It may happen some day that one (or both) are lost for good. But I never put them on or see them in the mirror without remembering the man who gave them to me and the love they will always represent.