Christmas 1982 I was given a special gift.
It was a silver welsh lovespoon on a chain that my grandmother gave to me.
I have worn this lovespoon for the last thirty one years...
I have just had a moment there - a moment where I doubted my maths! Thirty one years? Surely not?
Anyhow, as I said, this lovespoon has been with me all this time. Throughout my school years tucked under my pale blue regulation blouse; through Uni days; moving away from home; moving back home; getting married; becoming a mother and eventually moving across the ocean to Australia.
I don't wear it everyday, but it is my default piece of jewellery. As the years go by I love it more and more, and this is where the problem lies. My little silver lovespoon is becoming too precious that I am beginning to get a little wary of wearing it.
The other week I just had a feeling that I hadn't seen it for a while. I checked the couple of places where it should have been. Not there.
I searched high and low. I turned drawers inside out even though it was highly unlikely that the spoon was anywhere near there. I could feel a bubble of panic, maybe even fear that I dared to think that I had lost it.
I left it a few days and searched again. Nothing....
I re-lived the previous few weeks. Tried to remember the clothes that I had worn. I recalled how I almost lost it once when I was olive picking a few years ago when the chain broke but the lovespoon stayed safe and tucked itself into my clothing.
I even scrolled through some photos and tried to piece together when I wore it. Major panic when I saw a recent one of Sibs and I in Auckland with the lovespoon around my neck....!
I tried to convince myself that it would just show up. (I do denial pretty well)
Last week I was packing to go away for a few days and as I was throwing some toiletries into a bag I spotted a small black velvet drawstring pouch. I tentatively peered inside and there was my little silver lovespoon. It had made it back from Auckland.
So I wore it when I went away again last week and then the same thing happened. I couldn't find it a few days later. Not in the little black pouch, not in the other obvious places.
I rang the hotel - nothing.
Maybe my luck was running out?
This morning I found it tucked in the corner of the jewellery roll that I took away with me. The same jewellery roll that I looked through - twice.
I actually whooped out loud!
Is this just a sign of a busy life? Of having a brain that it crammed too full of end of year lists and chores that I can't think straight?
Or have these near misses been a sign that I should place this necklace away in a drawer, lock it and hide the key??
I have thought a bit about it this evening. I have thought about how much I love my silver lovespoon necklace and how it often makes me think of my grandmother.
I thought about how devastated I would be if I did ever lose it.
But the strongest feeling came when I really considered not wearing it again.
It felt like I was about to lock a bit of me away.
So I'm going to continue to take great pleasure in wearing it and in enjoying the link it gives me to my past. It's a bit like deciding to live the moments. There's no point wondering too much about the 'what ifs' in life - just make the most of it whilst you have it.
Wish me luck in keeping it safe for the next thirty years and beyond!