She loved earrings. Besides her wedding ring, I remember her earrings more than I remember any of her other jewelry.
She had small five-leaved plastic flowers, held on with diamond studs. She never wore those much but when I was a little girl, I thought they were the prettiest.
There were the gold loops, whose charms tinkled against each other when she turned her head. She would tell me what each one meant to her: the cross was God, the heart was Dad, the baby shoes were my brother and me.
Long silver coils, dotted with turquoise and etched with the ancient symbol for rain.
The curved triangles, pink and yellow and sparkly. She wore those with her white sweater.
Large round brass disks, filled in the center with shiny crimson. Those were for Christmastime.
The silver and sapphire spikes my dad bought for her before I was born, set aside only for the most special of special occasions.
But her earrings I love the best are the small silver hoops she wore every day. I close my eyes and seem them there above her neck, her dark hair curling around them, and I remember her everydays. Her Mondays elbow-deep in sudsy dishwater, a song on her lips. Her Tuesdays bent over the sewing machine, stitching together a new pair of curtains for the kitchen. Her Wednesdays pulling weeds in the garden. Her Thursdays making goulash for supper. Her Fridays, picking out a movie for family night. Her Saturdays, trying to convince Dad to close up the barn and come home for the afternoon. Her Sundays after church, dress clothes put away and dress earrings back in the jewelry box. She would sit between Dad and me, across from my brother, and we would all hold hands and pray over Sunday dinners of fried chicken or roast beef or shepherd’s pie.
Those little silver hoops were her everydays and her everydays are what I never want to forget.