As long as I can remember, she has had that necklace.
It’s a simple diamond-covered cross on a gold chain.
I have never noticed her with any other necklace on.
And today she gave it to my daughter.
My grandmother, my sweet Momo, has been fighting cancer for a long time now. I know it probably feels to her like it has been forever. It’s been a rough road for her. Y’all, chemo is no joke! And all down this rough road she has been the rock for the rest of us.
Come to think of it, she has been the rock down a lot of rough roads.
And while I can’t say we agree on everything or that we’ve never fought, I have always known and never doubted that my Momo loved me.
She loves so well. In our mistakes, in our differences, in our flaws, in our troubles, in my insecurity and fear and anger….she loves. I believe I have learned much more than I realized from her in this way.
Whenever we talk she always tells me that I am loved.
“Well, you know YOU ARE LOVED.”
“I know it’s hard but YOU ARE LOVED.”
“No matter what happens, YOU ARE LOVED.”
How can you doubt someone who is so sure of this, no matter what you do or say, no matter the decisions you make, they never stop telling you that YOU ARE LOVED? For almost 32 years I have heard this woman say to me that I am loved nearly every time we have spoken.
Lily turned six years old last week. But she is not your average child; she NOTICES things. She notices feelings, notices body language, notices undercurrents and she notices the extraordinary… and she noticed many years ago that Momo is exceptional. In her observations, she also recognized that this necklace was something special to Momo. Lily told her she loved it when she was very young and has spoken about it many times. And so Momo made it up in her mind that this necklace should one day be Lily’s. In fact, she told me she planned to leave the necklace to Lily one day when she leaves this earth.
Today she came to Lily’s 6th birthday party. And she gave her the small diamond-covered cross on the gold chain. It was one of the sweetest moments I have ever been witness to.
As Momo explained to Lily that she is a special girl and now a big girl, she took the chain over her head and placed it over Lily’s. Lily’s eyes full of awe and her serious face portrayed to us all that she understood this; this was special, this was a momentous act of love.
She took me by the hand a little while later and in a hushed whisper said “Mama, I can’t believe Momo gave me her necklace.” I don’t think she will ever forget today.
I know I won’t.
Momo, we really, really love you. Thank you for loving us so well. For teaching us what that looks like in so many ways. For being sacrificial and unconditional in your love. You’re a shining star and YOU ARE LOVED.