It’s early October and I’m raking leaves outside of my home that I share with my husband and son. My, then 2, almost 3, year-old is steadily on my heels waiting to jump in every pile I make. In the midst of my hard work, I hear my son squeal with excitement and turn around to see him holding some sort of necklace.
I go over to examine it more closely and after brushing off the dirt, I can see it’s a very old heart-shaped necklace. It was on a long chain with a fancy design on the front, with a little rust. It looks like a cheaper necklace they sell at Claire’s. So whenever I saw how excited my son was about this find, I didn’t see the harm in letting him wear it.
I finish my raking and we head inside. My son wore this necklace all evening. He was absolutely beaming with delight. My son puts it on various stuffed animals, puts it on our dogs, and even lets me try it on. He wore and played with this necklace for hours. I’m thinking I’m totally winning as a mom. This simple necklace is occupying his attention for so long I can get a lot of my housework done.
Soon it’s getting dark and it’s time for our bedtime routine. As I’m getting him ready for his bath, a battle ensues with him of taking this necklace off. So, I finally cave and let him wear the necklace in the bathtub because there’s only so many times you can fight with a two-year-old in one day. I know, I know, that’s totally gross but any mom has stooped to a level of just letting anything slide to make their child happy. Yet I manage to get it off of him long enough to wash him, so fear not. We put pajamas on, and of course, the necklace back on too. My son fell asleep on the couch, which is a rare event itself, so I carry him upstairs. I lay him in bed and carefully remove the necklace.
I’m walking down the steps and into the kitchen when I turn the light on and look more closely at this locket. There are no identifying markers on it. No letters, no words, just intricate line work on the front. I notice this indent around the side and realize it’s not just a heart-shaped necklace, but a locket! Running over to the sink I grab a knife from the drawer and start to try and open it. I almost couldn’t contain my excitement! What would be inside? What pictures would this old, semi-rusted, locket hold? It took me a while, then it opened with a low ‘pop’ noise. As it opened, a gray dust-like substance comes out all over my fingers. To my utter horror, I realize what this most likely is…
I let out a tiny scream and drop the locket in the sink and look around thinking someone saw what just happened. Freaking out, I quickly wash my hands and grab a plastic grocery bag and put the locket, the knife I used to open it, and the paper towels from washing my hands inside. I run outside and throw the whole thing into my trash can behind our garage. Then, I come back inside and washed my hands again at least 4 times, then the horrible realization hit me, I WAS LETTING MY 2-YEAR-OLD PLAY WITH THIS LOCKET ALL DAY. He played with it for about 8 hours. My dogs wore it, I wore it, he took a bath in it! I was mortified and so impossibly embarrassed. My husband was at work all day, so he never knew of the events that unfolded on this day.
On the news, and all over Facebook, you read and see about beautiful reunions of lost memories and mementos. I cringe every time I think about this and my actions. I hate that I didn’t keep the locket and try to find the owner. But then, I also revert to the fact that I wouldn’t know how to tell these people that I opened the locket and about 90% of their loved one’s remains went down my kitchen sink.
I never told anyone about this story. It is so embarrassing. But possibly share it with people I didn’t know and who didn’t know me. It gives me some sort of cloak of protection. I listen to a podcast called, My Favorite Murder, based out of Los Angeles, CA. This podcast asks the public to send in stories that we think they would find interesting whether it be about true crime or just odd stories. So I decide to send in this story to this fairly popular podcast, thinking they will never even see it. Two weeks later, I’m heading to work and start listening to podcasts on my hour drive. Soon enough the words being said on my car speaker were that of my email I had sent to My Favorite Murder. Horrified, embarrassed, shocked, and laughing a little out of panic, I listened to them read my locket story.
So then I start to divulge all info to my friends and husband. My friends think it is the coolest (and funniest) thing they’ve ever heard. My husband, who I thought would lecture me endlessly, just laughed along-side my nervous laughter as I played the episode for him. I guess at the end of the day I realize that as a mother you are going to do whatever it takes to bring your child joy and happiness. I know the judgment that will be thrown my way. But raising children comes with other peoples opinions and judgment without wanting it. I’m the best mom I can be. I would do anything to watch my son laugh, and play with all the innocence in the world. My suggestion, however, is to maybe not let them play with heart-shaped lockets full of (I’m really hoping they weren’t human) ashes.
Also, can my house get haunted by this?