I wear it every Christmas Eve, and the rest of the year, it sits on my piano.
We celebrated our last Christmas with my Mom in 1989. After a wonderful holiday, all of us knowing it would be our last with her as she was dying of cancer, Husband and I brought her home to be with us.
Although it was early January, we still had our tree up in our small Sausalito apartment. I hesitatingly returned to work, thinking my Mom had weeks to live, not imagining it would be days.
Mom had visiting nurses that would come to look after her while we were gone. She was on morphine for pain, but amazingly coherent and cheerful.
I called from work one afternoon to check in.
"How you doing Mom? Everything ok? We'll be home soon."
"Oh I'm fine, I'm fine" she said in her sweet voice, more like a child than a woman. "Grandma is here keeping me company, and we're decorating the tree."
"Uh, Grandma is there with you Mom?" I was in the fourth grade when Grandma Helen passed away.
"Yes, yes she is, and we are having a wonderful time."
I think about that every Christmas. Especially when I put on the snowflake brooch. In the days to follow without my Mom, she died a week later, that phone call gave me a lot of comfort.
My bilateral mastectomy surgery was October 26, my Grandmother's birthday. Duncle Dody, my Mama's brother, said that was a good omen. I think he was right.
I know Grandma is with me, and my Mama too, and the memory of them has been so strong during my months of treatment, and especially now during the holidays.
I feel their presence in my house, like snowflakes falling from heaven, following me as I flurry from room to room doing Mommy things. Just as they would have done, Grandma for Mommy, then Mommy for me, now me for my boys.
I'm so happy I have eyelashes again to catch the glistening miracles, reminding me Love never dies.