my first piece of jewelry that i can remember was a bear paw pendant with a turquoise stone that my father gave me. it was a beautiful work of craftsmanship, made by the navajos. i lost this gorgeous piece when i was twenty one while on the trip to take my sister to grad school in texas. these events are inextricably linked, for both events were a wrench. losing my sister, who was my very best friend, was a significantly larger pain than the loss of the necklace. but i must admit that i still feel pain over that pendant. bear is my spirit animal, and i feel very strongly that my father gave bear to me, one of the most amazing, transformational, *huge* gifts that has ever been given to me.
i went without a bear paw for about ten years, looking for one sporadically. i was still mourning my loss. but then, one day, quite out of the blue, i was ready. and i found a beautiful replacement. it isn't the same as the first; it isn't as heavy or as exquisitely made as the first, but it's turquoise (my stone) and it's about the same size. so. i made a necklace and i wear it every day and i feel close to bear, again, and thankful to my father for the gift of bear.