The cardiologist who rebuilt my heart back in November 2015 gave me this necklace. He had bought that from some beach boy on his travels in Africa. It was made of plastic beads and bright sea glass strung together on a nylon thread. He had tied a surgical knot to hold the whole thing together.

“Wear it until it’s broken or you lose it. Don’t worry too much about losing it,  Jac, it’s only cheap,” he had said with an almost shy smile.  “Just enjoy wearing it.”

We often know the price of things, but not the value. I think back to the time when I was given a piece of beautiful jewellery, and the giver told me that the cost of the gift was the price of a small car. I was too afraid to wear it (even attached to a chain around my neck) and it ends up in a box somewhere, far from me, unworn, unloved, forgotten, though I was in awe of it once upon a time.

But this “cheap” necklace broke when I was out swimming in the ocean. I dived into the blue waters to catch it as it fell, brought it back and tied it together with a piece of string. And as I put it back on, I felt a thousand suns exploding in me, each and every single one a fragment of his brilliant eyes. No, Dutch, you are wrong, it is not a cheap necklace.