The Story of My Great-Grandmother's Gold Bracelet

I’ve been told that my maternal great-grandmother had some “really beautiful pieces” [of jewelry].

 This makes sense to me.  When I was still in my adolescence my grandmother, her daughter, gave me a couple of bracelets that had belonged to her.  And they were “really beautiful.” And then I promptly put them in a box and have almost never ever worn them. 

On the night my father began his final decline in this life, he lay in his bed unable to speak, open his eyes or otherwise respond to communications.  I was sitting in a chair near his doorway just observing him, while my mother was doing her best to make him comfortable and fuss over things in general.  She walked by her dresser and a gold bracelet caught her eye.  “Janet, this was my grandmother’s.  It doesn’t fit on my wrist very well. It’s hard to get on and off.  It sparkles and that makes me think of you.  I’ve been meaning to give it to you. Would you like it?”  At first, I was reluctant.  1- I didn’t know if I deserved to be the one to inherit it.  2- My hand isn’t very much smaller than my mother’s.  3- I almost never wore gold.

I found myself struggling to receive the beautiful gift my mother was trying to hand me, but I reached out to accept it.  I held it in my hand and looked up at my daddio laying there, almost lifeless, and it occurred to me that the bracelet I was holding was very likely 100 years old and had spent most of its life “lifeless” in the drawer of one generation or another.  Immediately the bracelet became the epitome of the quote by an unknown writer, “Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.” And now I add: Wear the bracelet. 

And so, I do, every single day.  It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing silver earrings, I wear my great grandmother’s gold bracelet.  It doesn’t matter if I’m on a 3 mile walk in my work-out shorts, I wear the bracelet.  It doesn’t matter if I’m at the pool, I wear the bracelet.  And if I’m out to fancy dinner?  You better believe I’m wearing my great-grandmother’s gold bracelet. 

Wear the Bracelet,

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