While planning my wedding day, 30 years ago, my mother showed me a strand of freshwater pearls. She wore them on her wedding day. They belonged to my grandmother. “Don’t feel obligated,” she said, “I wore these on my wedding day. I don’t know if they are real but you can wear them if you want to.”
I’m pretty sure they aren’t real and they are kinda… well, ugly (sorry grandma.) But I took one look at those yellowed pearls and just knew they would be the perfect accessory to go with my $69 dress.
And my thrift shop pink fun fur. (Just right for doing the chicken dance during an unseasonably cold, rainy September day.)
And my guests wearing pig masks. (Thanks Patty Cornelius!)
The pearls are now in our safe. When the time comes, I’ll ask my daughters if they want to wear them. I’ll say, “I wore these on my wedding day. I don’t know if they are real but you can wear them if you want to.”
My parents marriage lasted over 50 years until my Dad passed away at the age of 92.
Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. Just like my parent’s marriage, my marriage to Jim has had it’s ups and downs.
We’ve had our share of difficult times but I can honestly say that I would wear those yellowed pearls again. My sister and my sister-in-law said “no thanks” to wearing the pearls. Neither marriage lasted more than a few years.
To me, the pearls are a symbol of what’s important. It isn’t about “the day,” “the dress,” “the jewelry,” or a hundred other little things that we stress about. It’s about the journey and the way we choose to live our lives.
I wish I kept the pink fun fur.
As I look through my wedding album, I am stuck by how many we have lost in the last 30 years. Some lived long, happy lives. Others died tragically young. RIP family and friends. May the rest of us live well and love more.