Sunday May 29, 2017
By: Amany Zayed
I sat on this comfortable lounge feeling relaxed, almost floating. I had just finished eating my delicious, yet healthy meal, always served on time and in abundance. The temperature was just right; the lightening was perfect. It was so relaxing here, I spent most of my time sleeping, or thinking how life can be any better.
Although I wished to stay there forever, days proved that this once cozy place was no longer convenient for me. As weeks went by, the spacious room that I comfortably floated in became tight, uncomfortable, and it was getting hard for to move around or even stretch my arms. On the thirty seventh week, something very strange happened, as if the door was opened and I had to push myself out. As much as I was going to miss the coziness of this place, it was time to move to a new one that fits me better.
As soon as I got out, I felt I was taken from heaven to hell with no way back. I was really shocked. The intensity of the light blinded me, the cold temperature penetrated my body I shivered, not to mention the loud noised that pierced my ears. And in the middle of all this, I found myself in the grip of giant monster who dangled me from my feet and shouted. “Congratulations!’’ Obviously, my reaction was hysterical nonstop crying! Do you blame me?
After few seconds that seemed like forever, I heard her familiar sweet voice, “Hi my baby.” My vision was still blurred, probably from the bright light, but I recall the first time I saw the pale smiley face of this woman with the sweet voice. When she held me in her arms and I looked into her face, I felt safe. She filled me with a warm reassuring feeling that everything would be fine. Not before too long I found out that this fine lady was my mom and I was a new born baby!
This new world was completely different from my previous one; vast, bright and noisy, with too much happening around me. I felt hungry and sleepy all the time and … what about those diapers!
My new life wasn’t comfortable, as I had expected it to be, and I became fussy most of the time. Only in in my mom’s arms I found safety and comfort. Her hug gave me warmth, her voice when she sang me lullabies filled me with joy and her touch provided me with the security I needed.
As weeks and months went by, I grew bigger and stronger and this big world became familiar to me. My vision improved and I met a lot of nice people, my daddy, my grandparents, my cousins and family friends whom they all thought of me as someone very special. Smiling, crawling, laughing, walking, playing and talking, were the usual childhood milestones for others but for me and my mom, my partner in this so called “life journey”, these were achievements.
I honestly don’t have much recollection of this time, but I heard so many stories about how cute I was, how early I walked, and how it was hard to potty train me. I also collected my memories from the photos my daddy took of my first birthday, my first time on the beach, my first day at school.
I was blessed to have a good memory to remember how excited I was when my daddy came home from work, when grandpa brought me sweets, when I helped grandma bake cookies, how strange it felt when my brother was born, and most important, how beautiful my mom was.
Becoming a teenager was the most ridiculous time in my life! That big nose, the pimples on my face, and the changes happening in my body made me feel as if my childhood was stolen from me and replaced by adolescence hell. My mom comforted me so kindly at this phase, and for some reason I didn’t realize then, she was calling me ma belle, every single day!
For my sixteenth birthday, my mom gave me a valuable present; her own necklace, the one she wore since forever! As far as I remembered, this necklace adorned her neck. I don’t remember she ever took it off! It was a thin gold necklace with a white pearl pendant in a diamond circle. “You are turning to be a young lady ma belle, I want you to have my necklace and take good care of it. It’s my lucky necklace so keep it close to your heart and it will bring you all the love and happiness you need.” She said as she put it around my neck.
I kept my promise and never took it off, to the extent that people who didn’t know my name called me ‘the girl with the pearl pendant’. And sure enough, my life changed ever since I wore that necklace, as if my responsibility towards this beautiful piece of jewelry made me a more responsible and caring person.
As days went by, I became so attached to my necklace, and it became part of my identity. Frequently, I would proudly show it to my mom to prove to her how I took care of it. And all through this time, my mom was always there for me when I needed her; to have a serious talk; discuss a friend’s problem or a hard time I was going through. She was always there when I had a good story to share or a critical decision to make. She didn’t talk much, but her eyes revealed everything she wanted to say. Our bond was so discrete, yet special at the same time.
On my wedding day, her eyes glowed like I had never seen them before. “Here you go ma belle, I was dreaming of this day since the day you were born, but I have never imagined you would be such a beautiful bride. I was sure you were going to keep your promise and wear my necklace. Look how it adds glamour to your wedding dress. Always be like this precious jewel. Surround yourself with little diamonds, but don’t try to leave your circle. This diamond circle is your comfort zone, your family. The diamonds surrounding you may seem tiny now compared to the big pearl, but still these are diamonds, the added value to the pearl they surround. Soon you will have another circle surrounding your pearl, even smaller diamonds, yet they will be more precious than any jewel you have ever owned. Keep the two rings close to each other, and keep them both close to your heart. And make sure the necklace stays around your neck. I love you now and forever.”
“I Love you too mummy.” I answered back as tears brimmed my eyes. I hugged her picture, the one I always kept by my bedside, so tight and kissed it. “How I wished you were here today”.
A knock on the door startled me. “Can I come in my sweet girl?”
“Yes daddy, you can come in.” I quickly put my mother’s picture down and wiped my tears.
“Wow! You look like a princess!” Daddy stood in the door way with his arms wide open and a loving smile on his face. “I am thinking to keep you locked up here with me for another day, or forever.”
As he hugged me might I noticed a letter in his hand.
“I was debating whether to give you this letter today or not, but I had to follow her wish.
For a moment, I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.
“She wrote you this letter in her last days and asked me to give it to you on your wedding day.” I sensed grief in her voice. He never really got over her death either. “Let me tell you, my curiosity was killing me all those years to know what’s in this letter.”
“You know daddy, I feel she is here with us. I always had this feeling that her spirit did not leave the house. That’s why I still talk to her whenever I need to. And when I miss her the most I just meet her in my dreams” I gave him a reassuring smile.
“You don’t just have her looks, but also her smile and spirit. Sometimes when I am talking to you I feel I am talking to her. You are right. She never left.”
I hugged him so hard, I didn’t want to let go. He gently pushed me away, and walked to the door, trying to hide the flickering tears in his eyes.
“Come on get ready, your wedding is about to begin sweet bride.”
I looked in the mirror, took a deep breath and touched the pearl necklace. I knew the necklace is holding much more than the pearl and the diamonds surrounding it, and it’s worth keeping for ever.