Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Wow! Did I start to panic this morning.

While showering, I suddenly noticed that my grandmother's earring wasn't in my ear.

I have three holes for earrings. Two in one ear, and one in the other. My daughters had the third one done as a birthday present for me almost ten years ago. I love the lack of symmetry, and it's great for single remaining earrings, missing their partners. For the past few months, I've had my maternal grandmother's earring in the extra hole, and then I just add a matching pair in the other two holes.

When I discovered that it wasn't there, I was in no condition to run and look. I checked what I could in the bathroom and then calmed myself down. It's not a limb, an eye or anything dangerous to my health. It's not like I discovered someone close to me was dead or dying. Either I'd find it, or I won't.

I had my ears pierced when I was almost sixteen, after close to ten years of begging my mother for permission. A couple of weeks later, we were visiting my Aunt Sadie, and she presented me with two pairs of earrings, which had belonged to my grandmother. Why to me? I don't know. I'm not the oldest granddaughter, and two were born after me, and after her death when I was almost three, who are named after her. But for some reason my aunt, who had never married nor had any children of her own, decided that I should get the earrings. I wasn't yet religious, but I was very involved in Jewish youth activities, being at that time a regional officer in NCSY, but I don't know how aware the family was of my status. Even though the time, when I was told it would be safe to remove my first earrings hadn't passed, I quickly put them on. I've worn them a lot over the decades, like in this picture.

Being pretty sure I hadn't taken the earrings off the night before, I remembered that I had once found an earring, from my other grandmother, in bed. It had somehow opened up and fallen off when I was sleeping.

Just yesterday, when I was already in Shiloh, almost home, talking to a friend who had gotten the same ride, but she needed one direction and me the opposite. So we chatted. Then a neighbor who lives right near by stopped in his car to ask if I wanted to get in a go home. I did and told him that I was glad that they have a new car, big enough for the whole family. Those of us who have lived in Shiloh a long time are still, and will always be, traumatized by the terrible car accident of the Deutsch Family. The father, HaRav Shlomo, and half of their children were killed in a terrible accident. The whole family had been squeezed into a tiny car.

So how could I obsess over an earring, even my grandmother's earring? I'm sure that she would have been the first to tell me that health is most important.

I didn't rush into my room to check to see if it was in my jewelry box or on the sheet someplace. Yes, that's where it was. Easy to spot, right there on the sheet. I guess my grandmother wanted to remind me of what's really important.

Chag Orim Sameach
Have a Wonderful, Light-Filled, and Very Healthy Chanukah


therapydoc said...

I told FD to buy me 3 pairs of the same zirconium earring and he thought I was nuts. But you don't, I'd imagine.

MizEllie said...

What a wonderful story! It's funny how sometimes seemingly small events contain important lessons. I'm glad you found your grandmother's earring though. And your high school photo is lovely. What a babe! ;-)

muse said...

doc, I'd like them in different colors. It helps keep my students focused on me. But if I was in your business, I'd prefer one color.
ellie, thanks, so true
I never thought the story would end up like that.
I liked the post so much I put in on my Arutz 7 blog, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Blog.aspx/6#2454

http://www.jhsiess.com said...

An excellent reminder of what is really important.

Thanks for contributing this article to this week's Carnival of Family Life, hosted at http://www.thesocalledme.net, the so-called me, on Monday, December 10, 2007! We have many other wonderful entries, so stop by and read a few!

Interested in hosting the Carnival? The schedule is posted at http://www.jhsiess.com/carnival-family-life, Colloquium.