The Gold Chain

It is a simple, thin chain. It is not particularly bright, eye-catching or valuable. To me, however, this is something special.

My father-in-law gave me the chain more than 6  years ago. My in-laws had already given me a rather large and flashy chain and were disappointed that I did not wear it more. I felt a little uncomfortable wearing such a large, shiny chain. It looked like bling. After observing me, my in-laws decided that I needed something smaller that I would feel comfortable to wear on a daily basis.

The chain is not long enough to come over my head. The gold of the clasp needs to be bent in order to fasten it. My father-in-law put it on my neck and told me that the clasp would break if it was removed too frequently, so I should always wear it and never remove it. That is exactly what I did.

The chain did not leave my neck for more than 6 years. When my daughter was born, and they laid her on my chest, one of the first things she did was hook her little fingers around that chain. Now she plays with it while nursing, pulling it out and dropping it back against my chest repeatedly.

Then, in the night, I woke to nurse my daughter and the chain fell from my neck as my finger brushed it. I could not tell in the dark whether it had broken or the clasp had simply come undone. I suspected it was broken. So as not to let my daughter waken or become distressed, I immediately sat it aside on the edge of the bed by the wall to deal with later. As soon as I sat it down, I rethought my decision, thinking that it could too easily become lost or the baby might get hold of it. But although I immediately tried to retrieve it, it was already lost.

After my daughter nursed, I stretched my hand under the bed, searching for it, moved the mattress away from the wall, to see if it had become caught. I knew it was not valuable, and told myself this was no big deal, but I felt a bit sad that my daughter would no longer be toying with it while she drank her milk. I made a dua asking Allah to help me find it, even while I tried to accept the loss with equanimity.

In the morning, I made a search for the chain in the light. Still there was nothing.

In the afternoon, as I stood for my dhuhr prayer, there, in the place of my prostration was the unbroken gold chain.


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