It feels like the first time as she silently slips on the pearls. They are the last thing to ready before their family arrives for the timely Thanksgiving dinner. As her ever steady hands latch the tiny clasp she remembers the first time they were placed on her neck.
He slides up behind her as she stirs the gravy muttering to herself “clockwise only” like her grandmother had instructed.
This would be her first Thanksgiving meal away from the farm, and her first as a wife. Although she was desperately homesick she wanted it to be just right for him.
Gently he places the strand across her collar. “What’s this?” she gasps in surprise. He nuzzles from behind as he fastens the clasp and kisses the spot they are draped.
“We can’t afford these; we can barely afford this turkey.”
"I know” he replies, “but every beautiful wife deserves something beautiful to wear on her first Thanksgiving.” “One pearl for every Thanksgiving we’ll share.” “Like our love, they never stop. When you think you’ve reached the end, the circle begins again.”
Forty some years have came and went since that first Thanksgiving. The first one small and quiet just the two of them filled with love and promise and those pearls. The gravy was lumpy and the turkey cooked upside down, but the love and respect was there to withstand it all.
The years to follow were filled first with babies and children then later with in laws and grandkids. There were a few trips back to the farm in the early days, but most were spent at home. Their home.
The gravy became routine and the turkey was never cooked wrong side up again, but some things stayed the same, the pearls and their love.
The knock at the door brought her back to the Thanksgiving of today. In bounced her grandkids and children. “Ready to go grandma, grandpa’s waiting.” Her bubbling granddaughter sidled up beside her and grabbed her hand.
“Just let me adjust my pearls,” she whispered.
They walked the path together. Her grandkids bounded ahead, her daughter by her side. “Are you ok mom?” Her daughter worried. “We can come back tomorrow.” But she smiled and fingered her pearls as she placed the wreath on the stone. She knew it had to be today, because the circle is unending, and it is Thanksgiving.