My grandmother used to say that "pearls bring tears." I never thought much about it, but I recently looked up the legend that gives rise to the saying. I won't get into it here, but if you are interested, you can find it here.
I adore my pearls...the gifts my husband has given me over the years. But the very first real pearls I ever received came from Japan and from a naval officer who responded to my request for earrings. I still have them, although I almost always wear the Tiffany earrings my husband gave me a few years ago. For one special occasion, I asked for a single strand choker. If pearls bring tears, I rejoice in having tears of joy in my life.
What brings me to this topic is the response that I have been getting from readers of My First Best Friend. When one writes, one has only a glimmer of how the words will affect others. The same is true for many art forms. I just wept while watching the film Julie and Julia. Why, you ask? What was there about that film that prompted tears? When Julia receives the first copy of her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I remembered getting my copy of that very same book when I was first married. The emotion, totally unexpected, just came over me. A gentleman leaving the theater with his wife asked me why I was crying. I launched into my story. "Do you still have the book," he inquired. More tears--"You bet I do and I even remember the stains on some of the pages!"
Hearing from several women in the book, and from a few readers, I realize there have been "pearls." That is, moments of remembering that have brought a flood of tears. One pearl I treasure is the report I got from my first best friend. The book is dedicated to her and it was sent as a present for her birthday this past weekend. (That was good timing, as the official publication date of the book is March 1.) The touching moment in my friend's experience was the fact that I had remembered her brother, in my words. Not have Robert as part of our childhood? Unthinkable.
I also want to respond to several comments here about the sadness that thinking back may bring. Again, I never wanted to make anyone sad. But it is, after all, unavoidable in any recounting of lives, isn't it? Difficult things happen; loss is almost unbearable. I never intended to inspire tears--but hopefully, in the main, they are jewels that honor precious memories. In the section of MFBF called Paths, I write this: "Not all first best friends are destined to travel along together." Friendships can be fragile and have their time and place. But that doesn't mean that the memories aren't pearls, even if they bring tears. Wear them proudly...for the friendship you had when learning how to love was so very important.
PS - Just in, this announcement featuring turquoise jewelry from Gumps in San Francisco. I love the beads...in a color very close to the cover of MY FIRST BEST FRIEND! (Turquoise is also my birthstone.)