Silas graduated from Kindergarten today. I don’t remember my Kindergarten graduation; I just remember going on to first grade. But when I graduated from sixth grade, it was a much bigger deal. We had a graduation ceremony and I received a very special gift from my parents.
A nameplate necklace.
My aunt Hasmig designed my name, using the Armenian alphabet, in very simple but beautiful lettering. My uncle Souren, a jeweler, created it. Gold. Uncomplicated. Stunning.
It was 1985. I was 11 years old. It was the most valuable and beautiful thing I owned. I wore it often. I still do. In fact, I wore it this past Sunday.
It’s just a thing. A piece of jewelry. I’m not even a jewelry person; most days I just wear my wedding ring. But every time I look at it, I am instantly taken back to
. To Mrs. Ripley’s sixth grade glass. To feeling so special opening that gift from my parents. To answering strangers’ questions about what the necklace spells out. Silva. Armenian. Valuable. AGBU Elementary School
The object? Definitely not as valuable as the message.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.