Let me begin by saying that just better than one year ago I began
to live every parent's nightmare -- the loss of a child. It has been a
year of heartbreak and then, suddenly, a stranger made a difference.
My son was just 21 years old when his heart stopped beating. It was
one of those terrible things that you read about happening to "other
people", to athletes, or people who take those dietary supplements with
ephedrine. It's not something you'd even consider when taking an
In any event, as I began down this road as the parent of a child
who will never grow old, it became important (to me) that I find a
locket of some sort to hold a lock of his hair along with a photograph.
Thus began my sporadic searches on eBay.
There is a category for mourning jewelry on eBay and I began to
periodically search it. The section is difficult to look at frequently
as so many of the items are heartbreaking -- filled with pictures of
young children, and locks of hair from so very long ago. I knew I would
be unable to remove someone else's picture, so this put a further crimp
in my searching.
Shortly after the close of one auction back in February though I
found the PERFECT locket. It had on the front a carving that so reminded
me of Sir Francis Drake (who circumnavigated in 1580) that my own heart
skipped a beat. You see, that final week, Son had spoken of buying a
catamaran (a twin-hulled sailboat) and making the same around the world
That, plus the fact that Son was born in 1980, seemed to cinch the
desire for me. Many years ago he had been given a commemorative coin
from Plymouth, England celebrating the Drake odyssey, and Son carried
that coin until he lost it in the ocean. An appropriate place, many
Anyway, the Victorian Gold Agate Mourning Locket auction had
ended, and the lucky winner was Robbyn (that's not her userid). I wrote
her shortly thereafter, expressing an interest (should she decide to
part with the locket) in purchasing it. She responded, saying she'd let
me know. I was a stranger to her, so the fact that she responded at all
Well, time has a way of marching forward, and the months ticked
by. I continued to search eBay and elsewhere for something appropriate
that wasn't too feminine -- it had to be for a guy, you know? Something
my guy would have liked...
Time and again I would return to the picture and description I'd
saved to my computer of The Locket. Nothing compared favorably, and I
worried to of ever having something besides a small Ziploc baggie for
Son's hair. One day I remembered a story from Reader's Digest that
stressed the importance of ASKING. There was hope.
So, I wrote to the winner once again, and expressed renewed
interest. Something in my note must have set her instincts on alert
because she asked about Son. When I told her the story she asked for my
address. Three days later, the locket arrived and it was even more
perfect in person than the pictures showed.
The final act of generosity was her insistence that this be a gift
from one mom to another. To say I've been touched by Robbyn's gift would
be an understatement. I wear this locket always, and cannot begin to say
the relief, joy and comfort I get by holding the locket, looking at his
beautiful hair, and remembering the good times we shared during his
Thank you Robbyn.