My Grandmother’s Locket

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“My Grandmother’s Locket,” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 65

My Grandmother’s Locket

One week before my Grandmother Harris died, she summoned me to her bedroom in my family’s home. I was 10 years old. As usual, Grandmother was sitting in her rocker with her purple shawl wrapped around her shoulders and wearing her hearing aid. I kissed her and knelt by her side.

“Ruth,” she said, “I’m going to die soon, and when I do everyone will come in here and start grabbing things and hauling them off. Go over to the dresser, and bring me that blue velvet box.”

I went to the dresser, returned with the box, and placed it in her wrinkled hands. She opened it and gently pulled out a beautiful gold locket adorned with a white diamond and emerald-colored sequins. Inside was a picture of her and Grandfather when they were first married.

She replaced the locket in the case and said, “Now remember, when I die you come into my room and take the locket. It’s yours. I want you to have it.”

I sighed. “Grandmother, you’re not going to die,” I said. Then I saw the earnest look in her eyes and added, “But I’ll remember.”

One week later, the night before she died, my father called me into her room. “Kiss your grandmother good-bye,” he said. “She may not be here tomorrow.”

“I’ll kiss her good-night,” I said, “but not good-bye.”

When I entered her room the next morning, her bed was empty. All I saw were clean, unwrinkled sheets and pillowcases.

Father came into the room and put his arm around me. “Your grandmother is gone,” he said.

“Gone where?” I asked.

“She died last night,” he said softly.

I couldn’t believe it. My constant house companion for the past 10 years was gone. At first I didn’t know what to do, but then I remembered to get the locket.

I took the blue box, stumbled upstairs, and threw myself on my bed. When I opened the box, the locket fell into my hands. Tears streamed down my face, and for some time I gave in to the fullness of mourning. Yet I felt grateful that through the locket my grandmother’s memory would always be close.

Years later, I entered the Logan Temple to be married. Wearing a long, white wedding dress, I sat with other brides in a circle in the brides’ room. At that time, I felt particularly close to my grandmother. Lovingly I touched the locket beneath my white dress, confident in the knowledge I had of life after death.

Illustrated by Gregg Thorkelson