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My Lost Pendant

My Lost Pendant

My chances of finding my special pendant in the enormous mall were about as good as my winning the Pulitzer Prize.


As I pulled the seat belt across my shoulder and inserted the buckle, I felt my delicate gold chain falling off my neck. It was a dreadful feeling. If that chain had come loose, so had my small gold pendant. Perhaps it had already fallen off in the mall where I had just spent the last hour and a half. I undid the seatbelt, searching for my pendant in and under the seat and the floor. Nothing.

I had been Chanukah shopping, trooping up and down escalators, striding along the walkways from Nordstrom to Macy’s and back again, peeking in boutiques on different floors. The mall was nearly 870,000 square feet, and I gauged my chances of find my special pendant, less than one inch around, about as good as my winning the Pulitzer Prize.

I had bought this piece of jewelry on impulse years ago, smitten by the shimmering shades of green, red and burgundy cloisonné in a heart-within-a-heart motif. The tiniest of diamonds set in the middle added to the reflective quality. It wasn’t outrageously expensive, but it was surely a self-indulgence to buy it.

I rationalized my decision. Lots of women spent this much and much more on designer handbags every year or two, a habit I do not understand and could not afford. Toting home my new bauble, I felt guilty. My husband is a generous man. I should have told him about it and asked him to keep it in mind for a special occasion. But it was a limited edition, the artist’s name etched in gold on the back, and I knew it wouldn’t last. So I took material matters into my own hands and signed the credit card slip.

I loved wearing my colorful pendant. My husband also liked it and didn’t question where it came from or what it cost. But after a few years, it disappeared. I searched everywhere for it, but finally gave it up for lost. I was sad, but part of me felt it was payback. You shouldn’t have been so extravagant in the first place, I thought.

Fast forward three years. I had dumped out the contents of a dresser drawer to organize it. To my amazement, there was my pendant, winking at me amidst an island of ordinary athletic socks. I thanked God for returning my pendant to me. I figured He was telling me, “Knock it off already with the guilt trip. Just enjoy it and be careful.”

Given this history, you can imagine the awful déjà vu I experienced when I felt the chain slip off a few days ago. This can’t be happening again! I thought. This time, my beautiful pendant would not magically appear in a sock drawer back at home.

I felt heartsick. It’s just a thing, I lectured myself. Count your blessings. If it’s gone, it’s gone. Go home and make dinner.

And yet. . . even though it was a lost and tiny item in a huge mall, why not at least report it missing? The woman in the management office was sympathetic, took my information, but agreed it was long odds of getting it back. It was absurd to actually try to find my pendant, and I wondered what lesson there was in my having lost it not once, but twice. But Chanukah is a time of miracles. In the Chanukah story, something very small and valuable really did show up in a totally unexpected way. Why not at least look?

I retraced my steps as closely as possible. I went down the escalator to the last place I had been, a Hallmark shop. I kept my eye to the ground. Before heading to the aisle where I had picked the only item I purchased – a Chanukah card – I stopped to survey the area near the cash register where I had waited in line.

Tucked under a display of holiday mugs, my pendant, face up, glinted at me.

I was rooted to the spot, thunderstruck. I swooped down and grabbed it. Holding it in a vise-like grip, I ran back upstairs and in happy disbelief showed it to the lady in the management office. I think she was as stunned as I was.

When I shared this story with our guests at our Shabbat table, I said, “This really felt like my own little Chanukah miracle. But I still wonder if it means anything else?”

My niece Ali said, “I would not have gone back into the mall like you did. I would have been sure the pendant was gone for good. But you looked for it and you found it. I think that’s the lesson. Never give up, even when the odds seem so much against you.”

“There’s also another lesson,” my husband said. “For Chanukah, I’m going to buy you a better chain.”

December 12, 2015

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Visitor Comments: 12

(10) D.K.Milgrim-Heath, March 21, 2016 3:53 AM

Judy: Nothing from God is impossible He performs miracles for us all

My Sixteen Year Nearly Given Up Search For Menorahs Of Gold Fabric Search Is No More
By D.K. Milgrim-Heath©2016
My difficult sixteen nearly up search for Menorahs of Gold fabric is no more-
Again this coming Chanukah holiday season 5777/2016 will shine galore.
My holiday fabric will be made into a proper table cloth sewn proud-
God granted my finished search being His miracle to me I say this loud.
The Chanukah’s holiday 5776/ 2015 year I suffered extremely so much-
God had other plans being this week –giving me His holy miraculous touch!
My re-bought fabric has Jewish stars and menorahs being biblical symbols of old-
So beautifully and appropriately called quite proudly menorahs of gold!
Color magnificence being beautifully designed of navy, white, gold and light blue-
How can one not feel more spiritual thinking of this proven miracle-don’t you?
Yes-God lovingly bestowed upon me His most holy surprise to be bought-
By His concerned everlasting love for me holy lessons were seriously taught.
My beloved fabric will grace beautifully fully my holiday table so new-
Truly a glorious gift from God it was clearly out of the blue!
God doesn’t forget the sufferings of His children He knows-
I need him for my daily survival-I’m his daughter spiritually forever one of those!

(9) Anonymous, December 28, 2015 2:46 PM

Lost but not found

I had a diamond ring the first piece of 'real' jewelry my husband made for me We found the diamonds in a buckle part of a fishing tackle box my husband bought at a yard sale
We advertised, but no response so he made me the ring
It was vacuumed up one day when I didn't notice it had fallen never to be seen again
I am happy u found your pendant and happier that your husband is buying u a new chain w/a strong clasp and yes lobster clasp is a good choice kosher or not Enjoy

(8) Pamela Fender, December 17, 2015 12:55 AM

Glad you Found it...Again

Such a miracle that you found it again.
Get yourself a lobster clasp. Those things are very strong. I changed all my chains to lobster clasps.
I know, I know. Not a very kosher name for them. :)

(7) Keren, December 16, 2015 8:47 PM

Lovely article

Thank you Judy for this lovely, heart warming story!

(6) Rachel Pitchel, December 15, 2015 3:24 AM

My lost pendant!

My mom lost her engagement ring when one day she was getting a bra and behold there was her diamond ring hanging from the bra hooks.

G-d works in mysterious ways!

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