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South Texas Living

Reminiscing: My pretty pink necklace

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Julia Castro
Apple Pie and Salsa
April 25, 2012 | 2,251 views | Post a comment

Last week I ran into someone that I met three and a half years ago. It was Stephanie, one of several therapists who worked with me to get me back on my feet after my knee replacement surgery. I hadn’t seen her since I left the Regency Manor after my rehab time was over. I told her I didn’t know anyone could actually enjoy a stay at a “nursing” home, but I did. Everyone was wonderful to me. It helped that I had several granddaughters working there. Not that I got special treatment. They treat everyone the same, but they would check in on me on their breaks. After Stephanie and I exchanged more pleasantries, we said goodbye, with me assuring her that I would try my best to go back and visit.

I wonder if she noticed that my eyes kept going down to the pretty pink necklace she was wearing. Later, I asked myself why I didn’t comment on how pretty it looked on her. Pink is very becoming on her. And a pink necklace always triggers a memory of a favorite pink necklace that I once had.

It was a two-strand necklace and the beads had a frosted look. I would wear it with a pink blouse or pink dress, but I liked it best with a black two-piece outfit.

Then one afternoon while I was fixing supper, I left the boys to their own devices. When I went to check on them, they were in my bedroom. To my horror, I saw pink beads all over the floor! I was devastated. Now these were four little boys who I assumed didn’t know any better. The oldest, Letty, was taking care of her baby sister outside on the swings. I picked up the phone and called Henry at the Falstaff warehouse. When he answered, I couldn’t even talk. I blurted something and followed it with a lot of sobbing. He couldn’t make out what I was saying. “Is something wrong with the kids?” he asked. I can only imagine what sorts of things he was thinking. “No! No!” I assured him. I finally calmed down enough to tell him that the boys had busted my pink necklace. There was silence at the other end for a few moments. Surprisingly he was calm, and didn’t yell at me for scaring him like that. Finally he said, “That’s okay, Julia, I’ll buy you another one,” to which I responded, “I don’t want another one. I want this one.” That was so foolish of me. There was no way I could put it together again even though I collected all the beads.

I’ve had other pink necklaces, but they have not even been close to looking like the one I lost so long ago. I don’t know why it meant so much to me. I’m a lot older and wiser now. I don’t put so much value on material things. People and relationships are much more important, and sometimes we lose them too. Relationships can often be repaired, but it takes a willingness to communicate -- and a lot of prayers.

I scared my daughter Lea, too, on the day my first article was accepted by the Wilson County News. I called her first because she was the one who encouraged me to do it. I was so excited I couldn’t talk. I was hyperventilating. Lea kept asking, “What’s wrong, Mom? What’s wrong?” When I finally found my voice, I said, “It’s happened, Mija. Looks like I’m going to be writing a column for the Wilson County News!”

I am very grateful to all who are responsible for giving me this opportunity to share my memories. I am grateful to all those who stop me and tell me they enjoy my column.

And now I finally have an email address so others will hopefully contact me and let me know how I am doing,

Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is

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