It's never easy to watch your parents go through a divorce, whether you're experiencing it in adulthood or as a kid. The changing family dynamic itself — not having both parents at home with you, splitting up weekends, watching your parents date other people — is difficult enough to deal with, but sometimes divorce makes you doubt your own relationship with your parents. Did I drive them apart? Should I have never been born? But one divorced mother made sure her daughter had no doubts: she gave her daughter a necklace made from her wedding ring, as a birthday gift. (Bustle reached out to Devin Petit and will update this post upon response.)
On Feb. 11, Pennsylvania resident Devin Petit tweeted a photo of the necklace her mother gifted her for her upcoming 21st birthday. Though it looked like just another lovely piece of diamond jewelry, there was more to it than met the eye. "My mom gave me this necklace this morning as an early birthday gift," Petit tweeted. "It’s made from the diamonds of her wedding band."
Petit said her mother wanted her to know that she and Petit's father didn't regret their relationship, as it gave them their daughter. "[S]he said although her marriage to my dad didn’t work out, they both agreed I was the best thing to come from it, which is why she wanted me to have it," Petit tweeted.
Here's the necklace:
Petit's post went viral, with other children of divorce chiming in to share stories of how their own parents handled the split. "My mum didn't give me a necklace, but after her divorce she kept us fed, clothed, and we had a roof over our head," one person tweeted. "Couldn't ask for anything more, but this is just so damn sweet." Another wrote, "My parents are divorced and I have both of their wedding bands my mom also gave me all of our family photos."
Others shared stories about similar jewelry their divorced parents had given them, or that they had given their own children of divorce. "I did the same thing with my diamond from my engagement ring. Turned it into a pendant and gave it to my daughter last week on her wedding shower. She will wear it walking down the aisle as a reminder of the love that created her. Love your necklace," one person tweeted.
Some shared photos of their jewelry:
Petit and her mother, Karen Beardsley, told BuzzFeed they were shocked the post went so viral. "I wanted to give her a special gift for her 21st birthday and I know she likes jewelry as much as I do," Beardsley said to BuzzFeed. "I think it represents successful co-parenting over the years and the love that both her dad and I have for her." Beardsley said she was heartened by the response of strangers to her gift.
Petit noted that though her parents divorced a decade ago, they still stayed civil, which helped her through the divorce. "My parents always maintained an amicable relationship and were really conscious of me and how I felt and always put me first," she said to BuzzFeed. "Throughout my childhood they lived very close to each other and I spent near equal amount of time with both of them."
Petit's post also garnered some responses from people whose divorced parents didn't handle the split so well. "You definitely win parents goals," one person tweeted. "My mom spent the rest of my childhood hating me because I reminded her of him and my dad told me he knew his life would’ve turned out so much better had he never met my mom & had me."
"My heart really went out to commenters who said that their divorced parents' relationship was hostile," Petit told BuzzFeed. "I wish they could have grown up in the same type of supportive environment that I did."