Our Favorite Things #7 – Birthday Gift

Read past favorite things in Andi’s Attic >>

November 1889

Well, when Kate got wind of the fact that her two little sisters were getting together to talk about their favorite things, she wanted a piece of it. She’d come to Fresno to see Baby William, and luckily it was on a Saturday morning when we all ended up under the same roof. Such fun! I had long ago lost my resentment toward my family for keeping Kate’s existence a secret from me. It’s like that Bible verse, “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child . . .” and so on, “… but when I became a [woman] I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13). Now the three of us are best friends.

So, when Melinda and I took up our remembrances of “our favorite things” and talked about our favorite birthday gift from over the years, Kate chimed right in. “I know what my favorite birthday present was and always has been.”
     “What?” Melinda and I asked at the same time.
     “Why, the locket Father gave me when I was ten years old.”
     Of course I remember Kate telling me about that after I’d been pulled from the creek and recovered from my nasty chest cold. She gave me back my locket, the one I’d given Hannah to keep her quiet when Troy had stolen the kids away. I was shocked that she could get Hannah to give up her “lecklass.” That’s when Kate me told the story of how Father had given her a locket for her birthday. 
      And so the tradition began . . . You can read other favorites in the Archives >>

7. Our Favorite Birthday Gift

All three of us girls agree 100% on our favorite birthday gift. That is the special locket we each received for our tenth birthday. It’s truly my favorite gift ever. It’s special because it’s a tradition Father began with Katherine. I’ve seen Kate’s locket. It’s so pretty. There isn’t a solid back to it, so there is no engraving, but that lovely amethyst (since Kate’s birthday is in February) makes up for that! When Melinda turned ten, I was almost five. I remember watching my big sister open the box. She gasped then squealed, and I saw this lovely silver heart locket hanging from her fingers.
      Tears welled up in my eyes. “I want a necklace too, Father.”
      Melinda let me hold hers but it wasn’t the same. “When can I have one of these?” I begged, reluctantly handing it back to the birthday girl.
      Father lifted me up on his lap and hugged me. “When you turn ten years old, you will get a locket.” He nodded toward Melinda, who was letting Mother help her encircle her neck with the fine silver chain. In the center of the heart sparkled a tiny diamond.
      “Truly, Father?” I bounced up and down on his lap. Then I sighed. “But that’s . . .” I counted in my head from five all the way to ten. “. . . five whole years from now! I can’t wait that long.”
      “I’m afraid you must,” Father said softly. “You are much too young to appreciate such an expensive, precious locket.”
       “Listen to this!” Melinda yelped. She squinted at the back of the locket as it hung around her neck. “Look what Father wrote. ‘May you grow into a daughter of the King, little daughter.‘”
       My chest swelled with the excitement of such tiny writing on the back of a locket. “Oh, Father! Will you write something on my locket too?”
       “Indeed I will, Andrea,” Father promised. “Would you like a silver necklace like your sister?”
       I shook my head. “No, Father. I would like my locket to be gold, just like the golden streets of heaven.”
       Father chuckled. “Gold it shall be then. Anything else? A diamond like Melinda’s?”
       “No.” I didn’t want a copycat locket. I wanted it all my own. “Maybe etched with little swirls and . . .” I scrunched my eyebrows together. “I want my locket to open so I can put pictures of you and Mother inside. And I want something special written on the back. “
       Father nodded solemnly. “And so you shall have a golden locket just as you describe when you turn ten.”
       “Do you promise?” I asked, looking into Father’s deep, blue eyes.
       Father was killed the next spring, just before I turned six. I put the locket out of my mind once and for all. So, I was surprised into speechlessness on my tenth birthday when Justin presented me with a small box. “Happy birthday,” he said softly.
        “Oh, Justin!” I found my voice when I lifted the gold locket (with swirls!) on its chain. “May you grow in wisdom and God’s grace, sweet sister” the back read. When I opened it, tiny portraits of Mother and Father appeared. I couldn’t help it. I burst into tears. It was exactly the way I had described it to Father when I was little. Justin had remembered.
        “I love you, Justin!” I threw myself into his arms and hugged him as tight as I could. “Thank you so much!”
         I have cherished my locket ever since. It was quite a sacrifice to take off this precious locket and tie it around Tucker’s neck when Lucy and I were held hostage at Procopio’s hideaway. I didn’t know if I would ever see my necklace again. But a necklace is just a thing, as precious as it is, and I knew if I didn’t let go of it, I might never see my family or Riley again. Riley returned my locket to me shortly after we were rescued.

Here is a fan fiction story that shows a different angle about Kate’s locket. “Katherine’s Locket” >>

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

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