The locket is there, not only because I miss her, but because she is a reminder. Not only does she remind me of happy days, spent crafting and cooking, but of what it means to be a good person. She always did what she thought was right and stood up for the little guys. Even though she was a sassy Southern woman and wouldn't think twice about telling someone off, if there were those who were less fortunate, she would find a way to help. I remember dropping off cardboard boxes with jars of preserves and Ziplock bags filled with venison or wild boar that my grandfather had procured during hunting season. If there were young children in the family, she'd always put a bag of hard candy.
I think the spirit of charity grew from when she and my grandfather first started out. They lived in the rural Ozarks in a log cabin with a dirt floor. The spirit of the Roaring 20's roared on without them. They were farmers and picked cotton until their hands would bleed. She always kept a branch with a boll on it, sticking out of a vase or a mason jar. I never knew why. I thought that she would hate the sight of it. But now I realize that it was a reminder to be grateful for the blessings in life and that those small blessings came from hard work.
I keep a locket hanging over my work area to remind me to work hard, be grateful, and "take no shit". I try to lead my life and conduct a business that would make her and my grandfather proud. And on days where it seems harder than hard, it gives me a piece of mind to know that there's someone to watch over me.