Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Locket

I turned seven years old in September of 1957 and was asked to be the flower girl for a second cousin's wedding.  I had no idea what that meant, but I began to show some interest when I was asked to my aunt's home one Saturday morning to be fitted for the most beautiful dress I had ever seen.  It was a soft lavender dress trimmed in a narrow velvet ribbon.  It made me feel like a princess.

The weekend of the wedding I was so excited to be involved in the celebration.  It was fun because my cousin David was the ring bearer and everyone was telling us what a good job we were doing.  That Saturday morning I walked down the aisle of  St. George Catholic Church  in Hermann, Missouri, carrying a bouquet of flowers and stepping in time with the music.  I felt so pretty and I was especially proud of the little gold locket that the bride had given me to wear with my dress.  I had never had a locket before and I kept opening and closing it.  It was truly a treasure.

When I went back to school the following Monday I wore my locket and proudly showed it to my teacher and friends.  They all admired it and I promised myself that I would keep it forever.  I wore it to school everyday and everyone in the entire Big Spring Elementary School knew about my locket.

One day, later that Fall, when I came in from afternoon recess I discovered that my locket was missing.  I was so upset that my teacher allowed me to go out to the playground to search for it................even though I would be missing class to do so.  I looked everywhere I remembered being during recess, but I could not find my locket.  That day I left school in tears.  When I got home, my mom drove me back to school and helped me look on the playground again, but we could not find it.  Within a few weeks I had lost the locket I had vowed to keep the rest of my life.

The next morning the teacher could see how sad I was so she encouraged me to tell  my class and all the classes in the entire school about my lost locket.  She hoped that perhaps someone would find it and return it to me.  Some of my friends even helped me look for it at recess, but we could not find it anywhere.  I knew it had to be on the playground somewhere, but it was so tiny it would be hard to find in the grass and dirt.

I continued to look for my locket when I went to the playground, but soon winter set in and we began having recess in the gym.  I never forgot about my necklace and never gave up hope that someday someone would find it.  Winter turned into Spring and we began having recess outside again.

One Spring day when we were having our afternoon writing class, a girl from fourth grade knocked on the door of our classroom.  When my teacher acknowledged her, she walked up to her desk and whispered something in her ear, showing her something held in the palm of her hand.  I couldn't hear what she said, nor see what she had shown my teacher,  but as they whispered to each other they looked at me.  She had found my locket where it lay for five months in the rain and snow beneath the seesaws on the playground. 

That was 53 years ago and I still have my little locket.  I have kept my promise to myself to keep it the rest of my life and I hope to someday pass it on to a granddaughter who will cherish it as much as I have.  I will forever be grateful to the  little girl who found it and returned it to me.  She could have just as easily kept it for herself.  It is a testament to the honesty of the families in my little community and school of Big Spring, Missouri. 

Can you see the little locket I am wearing?

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