NEWBURYPORT — For years, Prospect Street resident Bethany Groff neatly stored in a small case her precious memories in the form of jewelry collected over a lifetime of important events. In times of sadness or stress, Groff would turn to these memories and wear them.
Last month held one of those moments as she flew to Texas to attend her boyfriend's father’s funeral.
“Kind of a sad occasion, so you really want to have things that are special to you,” said Groff, who manages Historic New England’s properties in Newbury and Amesbury.
During the flight someone made off with her small red wallet containing her favorite jewelry in the world. None of the pieces, save for a diamond ring she purchased for her 30th birthday, was especially valuable. But the memories associated with the acquisition of all the pieces were priceless — the purple pendant given to her by her high school friend, the silver choker worn by her mother during her prom and the blue glass beads that popped off when she ran.
“I was more bummed out that I just lost my jewelry; it was more that all these pieces had a story,” she said.
Groff said she believed the case was stolen during her flight to Texas although she has no definitive way to prove it. An inquiry to her airline hoping the case may have turned up somewhere proved to be a dead end. After returning home, she tore through her house for three days hoping to find the case, to no avail.
As a way of coping, she wrote a poem describing her loss and last Monday posted it on Facebook, something she has done from time to time when confronted with sadness:
“Goodbye, purple pendant in pewter inlaid
From Shelley Quitecontrary, who I met in ninth grade.