Janice's Pearls

In Attire
Pearl Necklace
Pearl Necklace

For my Bat Mitzvah I received a necklace of pearls from my grandmother Janice, which is a tradition on my dad's side of the family. The tradition started with my grandma who got hers first. These pearls have come to represent coming of age as a Jewish woman in my family.  Pearls are classic, feminine and get more lustrous as they age, especially if they are worn often. Pearls are more than just beautiful though, they are created from pain, and pain and loss is something my grandmother has gone through a lot of. When Janice was my age in 1953 she lost her father. Her own mother had to work hard by starting a dry cleaning business to support her and her brother, eventually she started working there as well. Janice worked hard during her life and settled down with a loving husband, and had children. When the time came, Janice and her mother chose beautiful and sentimental pearl necklaces for each of her daughters for their Bat Mitzvahs. My aunts both have their own take on what the pearls mean to them, but they both agree that they make them feel special and grown up. No grit, no pearl is the best metaphor for my grandma Janice and her ability to overcome painful circumstances and create things of beauty. To me she is a living pearl.

Place(s): unknown

– RB

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant