by Vennessa Walker

Pink and Pearls in honor of the First but not the Last Madame Vice President. I debated which string to wear for today’s historic inauguration: the pearls my mother gave me or the ones I got for myself? As I considered each, I realized that if every pearl represented its own unique life experience, then each of these strands was an apt representation of each of us. My mother’s pearls start off uneven, each pearl beautifully warped into its own unique shape, before transforming into more consistent orbs and culminating in a blossom of pearls. I imagine much like the course her life has taken from growing up in the Philippines, to moving around often as a Navy wife, before finally settling into the familiarity of an ever-growing family. My pearls, on the other hand, are much more uniform throughout – as simple, steady, and reliable as the life I’ve been blessed to live so far, each pearl as sure as the next.I really couldn’t decide. On such an historic occasion, do I wear the pearls that were given to me, or do I wear the pearls that I earned for myself? It dawned on me that I didn’t have to choose. It would be both; it had to be both. My mother’s pearls were the first, but they are not the last.