Last week the lovely husband's grandmother approached me, cautious with her steps, quiet with her voice, and a little misty in her eyes. "I have a present I want to give you for E," she said to me. "[My husband (M's grandfather)] gave this to me 68 years ago. Can you believe that? It's a long time, isn't it? E is my first great-grandchild, and I want her to have it." She placed this necklace in my open hand and cupped my fingers over it.
"Sixty-eight years," she said again. "He was a good man..." she murmured, living for a moment in the happinesses of her past. She's lived a lot of years without him; he died when my own lovely husband was only three years old.
Then she returned to the present, clapped her hands around my cupped one once, and let go of my flesh and her memories. "I hope E cherishes it," she said. "It was the first present he ever gave me." She smiled wistfully and walked away.
Quietly, feeling reverential and filled with wonder, I looked closely at the necklace and asked my husband if he knew that story.