Her Diamonds

“Oh what the hell she says, I just can’t win for losing…and she lays back down”

One of my sister’s most precious possessions were her diamond earrings. Everyone who knew her well, knew how much she loved wearing them. She wore them every day. .. even had them on when she was admitted to the hospital. But…as everyone with good sense knows, it is not a good idea to have valuables laying around in a hospital room. It is also especially not a good idea to be wearing expensive jewelry during one’s stay.

It had become our habit (my husband and mine) to take her purse to her every day when we visited. We would never open it. We would bring it in, hand it over to her, and then let her go through it; fingering through its contents to her heart’s desire. Afterwards, she would zip it up again, and hand it back to us. She was beginning to relinquish whatever she had left of her physical decision making power over to others. Making sure that she had complete control over her purse was one of the ways we felt that she could somewhat maintain her dignity.

“Her diamonds bring me down ’cause I can’t help her now”

It would also be well to note that my sister was one “smart cookie”. Although she loved her diamond earrings, she knew that they would best be taken care of if handed over to a trustworthy (and at least semi-responsible) person. I am such a person. And so she took them off and handed them over to me. As she watched, I wrapped them in Kleenex and stuffed them down into one of the inner pockets of the purse. I then dramatically zipped the pocket shut, and patted the purse reassuringly. She smiled. She knew they were safe.

There they stayed…that is, until after she died.

It was hard to have to go through that purse when she passed. It was even more difficult for me to get up the nerve to begin wearing those earrings. She would have wanted me to. I found the receipt for them while going through her things at her house. I was surprised at what she paid for them. I, however, will not reveal to you whether this surprise was in knowing “how much” or for knowing “how little”. Because, you see, the truth is: Now…they are priceless.

“She’s down in it…she tried her best but now she can’t win
It’s hard to see them on the ground…her diamonds falling down, way down”

Her diamonds? In my ears. Right now.

I wear them proudly.

I wear them forever.

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