A few months ago, I was at Target and I spotted this necklace. The card it was attached to said, "Be Brave." I think I took a closer look because it was in the early weeks of this pregnancy and I was feeling very not-brave.
As I held up the charm so I could read the inscription, my heart skipped a beat.
I am always with you. Be brave, have courage, and love life.
I had seen this message on a larger necklace and charm that I admired elsewhere, but when it was suddenly staring me in the face at Target (for less than $20), I couldn't pass it by.
I have a few simple, sentimental necklaces that I wear in rotation--one has a silver disc with Eliza's name on one side and her birthdate on the other that some of my best friends gave me for Eliza's birthday last year. One is a heart inscribed with "Have Hope" that my mom bought me in a little jewelry shop on Granville Island last summer--that trip to Canada was, I think, the first time I really took a deep breath after losing Eliza. I have a little gold coin I bought as a souvenir in Italy that still reminds me of Tuscan sunshine and gelato and walking through the streets of Florence at night.
I still wear Eliza's bracelet every single day, while I switch out other jewelry depending on what I'm in the mood for or what goes with the clothes I'm wearing. I remember being afraid to wear her bracelet in the early days of my loss because what if someone asked me about it? I couldn't respond without crying. Fortunately, no one ever did. But that's something else I love about this necklace--I know exactly what it means, and how much it means to me, but it's also kind of a private message. Just between me and Eliza. It's exactly what I would have wanted her to know if it had been me who died instead.
My jewelry consists mostly of inexpensive costume jewelry, but I do have a few "nice" pieces I've received as gifts that still are most meaningful to me because of their sentimental value. Most days, thought, I bypass everything in my jewelry box to wear this inexpensive necklace from Target. I think I turn to this necklace more and more often because I want so desperately to believe what it says. I'm trying to be brave. I know that courage doesn't mean not be scared; it means moving forward in spite of fear. I want to love life (and there are more and more days when I think that I do). And, above all, I want to hold on to the thought that Eliza is always with me. I carry her in my heart, of course, but I like to think that in my best moments, she sparkles on the outside, too.
P.S. I'm not sure if it's still available in stores, but if you're interested, you can order it through the website here.