As a kid, I never knew my dad. He had passed away from cancer when I was only 10 months. I only had a few pictures of him to be able to know how he looked and also had the stories that my mom and family told me about him. But even with all that, I still wanted more than just those photos and stories. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I have those photos and I enjoy the stories, but I still needed something more. So one day, when I was 12 years old, I was going through some old photos and in the box, I saw this pendant that was in a heart shape. It was made of thick glass, inside was full of a clear liquid, it had a grain of rice with my mom's and dad’s name written on it and on top it had a small red rose. I grabbed it from the box, looked at it and ran to my mom to ask about it. She said that my dad had given it to her when they were together. I just stayed there looking at it for a good five seconds. I guess I must have a sad look because then she told me, “Toma es tuyo. Here it’s yours”. I just looked at her as she placed the pendant in my hand. At that moment, I kinda felt like crying but I didn’t want to show I was sad. So instead, I just hugged her really tight but I couldn’t contain my tears so I just started crying as I hugged her. Later that day, we found a silver chain and put the pendant on the chain. My mom put the necklace on me and from then on, I have never taken it off because it makes me feel close to my dad.
– Maireni Barreto