Sunday, January 29, 2012

Esther's Grandchildren

Esther, my maternal grandmother, had two daughters and two sons. To those four children were born eleven grandchildren, seven boys and four girls. I'm not certain how far she was into the grandma game when this charm bracelet was a gift. One charm for each child engraved with their name and date of birth. I am just as uncertain as to whose idea it was to present Grandma with such a gift. It doesn't seem likely that Grandpa would have, my best guess is that my Aunt Mamie, mother of Clay, Cory, and Sara, is responsible. She lived in the same town as the grandparents while her siblings were scattered across the country, and it just seems like the kind of thing she would do. I chose it from among Grandma's remaining belongings that were stored in Aunt Mamie's basement. I was surprised it was still there, it isn't a valuable piece of jewelry, except in the sentimental sense. It still annoys me just a little that my sister Martine's charm is etched with the name Marty! She was never called Marty, and if she was, she didn't answer. My mother wasn't happy about this either, and I remember her discussing it in hushed tones with Mamie. The excuse I heard was that the jeweler said her name was too long to fit on the charm. I find it odd that two years later Sara Kay was made to fit on a narrower charm! It would be so interesting to know that particular story but I expect it followed Mom and my aunt to their graves. I have worn it a few times and my wrist was left with a greenish brown smudge, I suspect it doesn't agree with my particular body chemistry. So I hung it on the twig shelf in my bedroom that is home to all sorts of memorabilia. In a sense the twig shelf is an altar. The photos, jewelry and trinkets represent people and things I'm keeping in my thoughts for one reason or another. To help me hold those I love and special memories of them close. When my cousin Chris died I tied a tiny black ribbon on his charm. When my brothers Scott and Cullen passed I did the same with theirs. Eight of us survive and there are at least ten great-grandchildren I know of, the most recent addition in just this last week. Sometimes I wonder who will cherish and possibly wear this bracelet long after I'm gone. I can envision a young girl finding it in a basket of costume jewelry in a second hand store. She makes up fanciful stories surrounding the names on the charms. And enjoys the tinkling sound it makes when clasped on her wrist. She places it carefully on her nightstand before she turns out the light at bedtime. This makes me smile.

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