Sunday, January 15, 2012
The Forget-Me-Nots by Ginger Simpson
Sarah Palmer’s mother has passed, and desperate for something familiar to hold onto, Sarah goes through her mother’s jewelry box. Inside she finds three bars joined together with a black ribbon. The metal’s tarnished condition hides the words engraved on each and sends Sarah in search of someone who can explain their meaning and why her mother never shared them with her.
Sarah fidgeted while the jeweler used a special polish to clean the tarnished surface of the first sterling bar. He finished and handed it to her.
“Looks like this one says Clara.”
“That was my mother’s name.” Sarah looked at the now-visible letters and nodded.
The glasses balancing on the man’s nose made his pores look huge. Sarah wanted to push the frame up where it belonged, but instead gazed through the glass cases at wristwatches until he finished with the next charm.
“Here’s number two.”
She took the charm. The day was crystal clear, along with month and year. April 14, 1941. She closed her eyes and searched her memory for some association with the date. Mom had never mentioned anything about her life previous to Dad. Maybe the clue was on the final charm. Sarah chewed her bottom lip and waited.
“Number three. Do you know someone named Leon?” The man dangled the charm in the air.
Sarah shook her head and accepted the third piece from him. “Never heard of anyone by that name.”
The jeweler stood with a blank expression, as if waiting for something. Sarah’s cheeks warmed. She clasped the charms tight in one hand and reached for her wallet with the other. “I’m sorry. How much do I owe you?”
He held up a hand. “No charge. Can I do anything else for you today?”
“You’ve been very helpful already, but I wonder if you’ve ever seen anything like these before—know what they’re called?” She opened her palm and spread the charms apart.
He smiled. “As a matter of fact I have.” He took one and placed it on the counter. “I’ve seen them in my ‘collectibles’ book.” Pulling a magnifying glass from a shelf behind him, he held it over the sterling piece. “See those little flowers on the end? They’re called Forget-Me-Nots, and also the name given to this particular type of keepsake.”
Sarah bent and viewed the small blossoms intricately placed on the bar’s end, then glanced up. “What significance do they hold, if any?”
“The charms were very popular during World War II. They were given in friendship and collected until one had enough to create an entire bracelet. I don’t know much more about them, but I’m sure you can research the Internet for more information.”
“I will.” Sarah’s heart raced. She wasn’t sure if it was from excitement or the anxiety of not knowing who Leon was. She couldn’t wait to tell Melinda.
This is another wonderful “waiting room” read. Just seventeen pages of cozy mystery. Who was Leon and why did he give Sarah’s mother a keepsake? Why did her mother never mention him and where is he now? Accompany Sarah on her search into her mother’s past. You’ll enjoy it. I did.