My Personal Artifact: Pearls Every person has on object in their life that is very precious to the, for me, it is my pearl necklace. They are small and round and a lustrous cream color with a pink sheen. They have a tiny gold clasp that holds the necklace together. My pearls tell a story than no other personal artifact can: my heritage. The pearls symbolized tradition and womanhood in my family’s life, and they were to be worn with dignity and pride. Every holiday, the girls of the family accessorized their outfits with the pearls given by our grandmother.
They were something we all had in common: the thread that linked our generations together. I recall looking down at my Nana’s casket and I could almost hear her voice whispering in my ear, “Never let any one prevent you from being you,” her outlook on life. Taking my last glimpse of Nana, I gently rubbed her casket goodbye and then rubbed my pearls. Instead of clinging to my mother that day, I clenched to my pearls. Wearing the pearls felt different that day, as I clutched them tight in my right hand and held my sister’s hand with my left.
Even though the sun cast its rays onto the congregation of people on the clean cut grass, the picture-perfect environment was a misnomer. Sniffles and sighs drained my head, and I felt weightlessly heavy. Three years have went by, and my pearls had the same luster as they previously had. The solace they provided will allow my grandma to remain immortal and let her essence be eternally with me. I now wear my pearls in a different light, knowing that I do not only wear them for myself but for my Nana. If I ever long to hear my Nana’s voice or smell her “Youth Dew,” perfume, I put my necklace on and indulge in the memories that come with it.
In conclusion, my pearls are a mechanism that embody my heritage, my values, and the loss of my Nana. Every girl in my whole family on my mother’s side owns an expensive set of pearls. They are gifted two sets, one for when they are a child, and one upon reaching their fifteenth birthday. They are so much a part of our lives that I can’t imagine life without them. They are my reminder. They keep my history alive. The tradition began when my Great-grandparents came from Ireland and my Great-grandmother saved all of her money working as a seamstress to buy a small set of pearls for herself.
She gifted them to my Nana when she was fifteen years old. My Nana always wore her pearls with pride and used them as a reminder that her life wasn’t always as good as it was. She always told us to humble ourselves and never belittle someone, especially based on what they did or did not have. My pearls are a reminder of people before me who had ambition beyond restraint, people who had to step outside of the box and go against the grain. These are my ancestors. They tell the story that brings me to where I am today. The past shows clues to the future, I believe and I hope to one day be as brave as the people before me.
My cultural values are also illustrated through my necklace. I assume most values of a normative southern girl. Many people have misconceptions about what all southerners are. I enjoy drinking a glass of sweet tea and listening to country music, I am different, however. I enjoy being laid back and casual, but I do have important values. I have strong opinions about government and the way that I live my own life. The values that I believe in play a very important role in my life. These important values have been greatly influenced by my family. My values include family, education, religion, and freedom.
The beliefs I have are important because they shape the way I live my life in a way that I think is desirable to me and those around me. I believe that to value something is to assign love and importance to it. I have had the fortune of being raised in a strong family background. I have two loving parents that have always supported me and taught me life’s lessons while also letting me develop my own morals and values by their example. Their love for me has shown me great examples of how to be kind and loving toward others. My family has also placed me in a great environment, surrounded by people who care and are very loving.
I do not know where I would be without the support of my family. My pearls represent my mourning for my Nana. My Nana was a great inspiration to me and taught me that I could do whatever I put my mind to, and that nothing is impossible. She also taught me that I should try to keep learning my entire life and that I should always open myself up to new experiences. My Nana was born September 14, 1946. My Nana managed to study hard and get accepted to and graduate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She went on to be a school teacher for over 40 years. After retiring, she fulfilled er dream of traveling the world extensively. She traveled throughout Europe, parts of Africa, and the Middle East. No matter where she went she always used to bring me back coins from every country she had visited for my coin collection. This was when I was in elementary school. I still have every coin that she ever brought me. Her memory helped me convince myself to study hard and always believe in myself. My grandmother died in three years ago, but she was spirited and full of life right until the end, playing golf and still driving, and living on her own right until she died.
I still miss her and think about her a lot. I feel that I owe a multitude my motivation and success to her. My culture is fully represented within my artifact. My pearls embody all of the things that make me who I am. My southern cultural aspects, and my ties to family and religion are things that my pearls epitomize in my own life. They remind me of my Nana, in all of her wisdom. My values are completely wound up in this tiny stand of pearls. One could say that each pearl represents a different portion of my life, whether it be my culture, my values, or my heritage.
They hold a much deeper meaning to me than just a pretty piece of jewelry to adorn one’s self with. My entire life is shown through this one simple object. My pearls have a purpose. My pearls have life. I see myself and those who have come before me when I look at my pearls. After a night of heartache or a period of trauma, I can cling to my pearls to relieve my pain. They are a link to my past and the bridge to my future. They are my security blanket, and my comfort zone. They are inscribed in my personal culture and a unique artifact that means something very special to me.