Neal and I dated for about two months when I was 18, from about mid November until late January. We had a nice Christmas together. I remember exchanging gifts in my parents' basement after midnight mass.
One of the gifts he gave me was a pair of dainty earrings. I adored them, even wearing them for my first passport photo after we'd stopped seeing each other.
Over the years and several moves, one of the pair was lost. I always thought of him when I saw the lone earring in my jewelry box. When we started dating again in 2003, he was touched that I still had the earring.
A few weeks ago I culled through my jewelry in an end-of-Phase-1 Project 333 mission. I came across the earring again and decided it deserved new life.
I brought it to the jeweler who had made my engagement-now-wedding ring as well as my favorite necklace from Neal. After much conversation, we settled on a design.
Today, for the first time in decades, I'm wearing my sweet earring again.