I didn’t take the Caribbean cruise; Sandi, my best friend, did. She bought these abalone shell earrings for me as a gift.
When the rectangles sway, iridescent, pale-green splotches catch light and pulsate across the surface of the earrings, giving the impression they light up from within.
I met Sandi, a paralegal, at a law office where I had taken a summer job. I had dreams of switching careers and becoming a paralegal. Eventually, I decided against the career change, but my friendship with Sandi lasted until she passed away fourteen years later.
The lawyer, who gave me a tour of the office on my first day, introduced me to Sandi, and told her I taught English. Her first words to me were, “I might as well tell you right now, I don’t understand that possessive apostrophe stuff.”
My first words to her were, “I struggle with affect and effect and avoid using either word. And I have to look up how to use lay or lie every time.”
We both laughed. My first thoughts were “I like this person, and we’re going to be good friends.”
There was so much coded in our first exchange of words: We wouldn’t lead with our egos; we’d help each other when needed; humor would prevail. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
These earrings symbolize Sandi’s character. She pulsated kindness and humor and strength, which lit up from inside her.