For the third installment of the Essentials series, I share with you my very favorite thing. Aside from my engagement and wedding rings, this is my most treasured possession. It is a silhouette necklace by Love & Victory that I coveted upon seeing in early 2009. Gracie had just survived her first bought with cancer and when we found out her prognosis was 5 years instead of 5 months (yes, it was a cruel moment in time) I felt compelled to have something tangible to commemorate the feat and to celebrate her life. Yes, I realize that these are usually meant for actual mothers of human babies, but I didn’t care. I had my heart set on it. I asked for it for Christmas from both my mom and husband (since it’s a big ticket item, our classy way of saying ‘spensive), and when I didn’t receive it I asked AGAIN the next year. A little louder this time. On Christmas morning I opened it and cried tears of gratitude for Gracie and the necklace that is a constant reminder to cherish every second. I never take it off.

In full disclosure, I reach for it whenever I need to muster up the strength to be the woman Gracie believes I am.