A Necklace from Kylie

I’ve never worn a necklace. I don’t mind them on men as long as they aren’t the Mr. T starter kit size. I have just never found one that suited my tastes.

In my first job, there was an accountant who had a chain so large it could be seen under his button down shirt. This was before the days of casual dress and this guy’s pendant literally pushed his tie an inch off his chest. I heard he got indicted for embezzlement after I left the company, which should be a lesson to us all – hide a big, gaudy chain under dress clothes, go to jail.

I did have a quest for the perfect necklace, though, and along the way I recruited a partner. I am not a surfer, but if I ever found a shark’s tooth on the beach I would get it set on a leather chain and wear it. I know you can buy them, but it isn’t the same as finding one in the sand on a morning walk.


On our annual trip to the white sands of Florida, Kylie and I would scour the beach for a shark’s tooth. She was the only other morning person in the family and a willing cohort to any adventure. Shark-tooth hunting became an event for us – a big one for me, a little one for her. We often ran to what looked like our quarry, but upon closer inspection ended up to be shells or rocks. Sadly, we never found a shark’s tooth. We spent many mornings combing the beach. Neither of us considered that our Friday morning walk in the sand in the summer of 2013 would be the last chance to find one together. Those thoughts don’t ever cross your mind as the sun rises across the horizon and the warm surf laps at your toes.



The consolation in not achieving a goal is that there is always next year. But that isn’t always true – next year isn’t a sure thing.

Those walks could be called futile in their result, but they weren’t. They are precious memories of time well-spent despite the fact that I do not own a shark’s tooth.

I do have a necklace, though.

It is nothing like I ever expected. A shark’s tooth makes one look manly – like a modern day pirate who extracted it from the beast barehanded and has a gaping scar across his ribs to prove it. That’s the story I would tell. But no, my necklace is not manly. And the scar that accompanies it is not visible.

My necklace contains three yellow beads strung on a leather cord. It cries wimpy… until you know its significance. For these aren’t ordinary beads. They are compacted flowers – making it even less masculine, if that were possible. They smell heavenly. The flowers that comprise them were collected from Kylie’s funeral – an event that ripped out my heart and left a scar that will never heal. Ironically, my beads rest just above that wound.


So we may not have found our shark tooth, but Kylie is a part of the only necklace I’ve ever worn. I love wearing it, too. It has become an item of comfort that often brings her image back to my lonely mind.

I love my necklace.

The big musclebound guy at the gym who chuckled at my feminine necklace may not be a fan. Thirty seconds into my explanation he was sobbing like a baby with all of his biceps and pectorals twitching and shaking uncontrollably. Any more questions, meathead?

So if you run into me, and wonder about my necklace, go ahead and ask. I’ll introduce you to my little girl who loved yellow and left me before we found a shark’s tooth to string.

“I found something blubbery, but its teeth aren’t sharp!”



Shark tooth photo attribution: Dominik Vogt

22 thoughts on “A Necklace from Kylie

  1. it’s a beautiful necklace, I had no idea you could do that with flowers! Thanks as always for sharing your heart with us.

  2. I also did not know that could be done with flowers. There is never anything so manly as a gift either given by a daughter or inspired by a daughter. We have one daughter ~ I wanted a son because I did think I could raise a daughter any better than I had been forged ~ but my husband wanted a daughter and that was our one gift from God, in the way of a child. It is absolutely one of the greatest joys to see a Dad/Daughter Team at work. I especially enjoy your stories because they are formed a lot about your family and daughters. I need to advise you as you get closer to having to walk one of your daughters down the aisle, try now to work toward being included in every aspect. This wife loved watching her husband drill holes in, string 3 strands of ribbon and wedding bells through 140 o screws, on 1 1/4 inch wooden rods for Wedding Wands. There will be many things you can help with. ALL PRICELESS! And each one of the jobs will make you very cherished and adored by your daughters.

  3. I was told about this too late to salvage any flowers from Jonathan’s funeral. Now it’s among the first things I share with other bereaved. So glad you were able to get it done and have that lasting memory. Will miss seeing your family at curefest!

    1. I deleted the other. Thank you. I don’t mind – it does look girly and certainly opened up a chance for me to make fun of a guy who could have kicked sand in my face.

      1. Thank you, I’d had to go away to research the most awful book ever, and came back to the wrong one :/
        It doesn’t look ‘girly’ though. It looks like a necklace, it’s just people aren’t used to seeing guys wearing them. Have you seen Richard Hammond’s one?

  4. Love this! I have an Origami Owl necklace with my kids’ birthstones and a cardinal (our “sign” after our son died), and another “eternity” necklace imprinted with Matt’s name and “Rev. 21:4.” They bring me comfort, but I also sport a tattoo on my left hand (because, naturally, I’m a leftie!) with my son’s signature, and a tattoo of a cardinal on my left foot. (Definitely don’t recommend getting a tattoo on one’s foot!! YEOWCH!) Your necklace is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I wear a beautiful necklace too a camera shutter piece that contains Jacob’s titanium rod that replaced part of his femur after the tumour was removed. In Australia my NRL football my team is the ‘Sharks’ If I met you in the street I’d gladly ask you about your beauitful necklace x

  6. Mark,

    Priceless – your story and the beautiful yellow necklace! Thank you! I believe a true man would wear it proudly with love. Glad to know, you are that guy!

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