Saturday, April 27, 2013
Mom wanted the bracelets to be similar to a vintage one she always wore, and that we often admired. Also silver and covered with a tracery of vines, leaves, and flowers, it was a thinner sheet of silver, folded into a tube/cylinder and then gently curved, if you can follow my crude description. And it closed, and then had a short fine silver chain dangling from it, ready to keep it on the hand should the clasp open accidentally. (It's one of the few things of hers I really wanted to have, as we sorted after the funeral, and I brought it home with me -- haven't worn it yet, but I will show you a picture in a future post. Promise!)
When she asked the jeweler about these, she was told that hers was dated (well, duh! did I mention vintage?) and that the more contemporary ones above were what her daughters would surely prefer. I must say that I find mine rather anodyne, blandly pretty, particularly in comparison to my beloved carved silver First Nations bracelet, whose shape and carving it reminds me of. I would never choose it on my own, especially since my own is wider and stronger-looking, and has become so much a constant in my daily wearing.
But that my Mother got the idea of giving all of us a silver bracelet, that she then went to the jeweler to pick them out, then got my sister to help her pay for them (it got too difficult, eventually, to remember passwords and keep cards in a safe place, and Mom had reluctantly surrendered financial independence months and months earlier), then picked them up and got them home ready for giving, then panicked at not remembering where she put them -- the classic Where Is the Safe Place I Put that In So I Wouldn't Lose It? becomes much more of a problem in cognitive decline . . .
I heard about the bracelets at Christmas -- we gathered with our own family while my sibs and their families did their traditional Christmas Eve at my sister's, but I saw the picture of my sisters and sisters-in-law all putting their bracelet arms, hokey-pokey style, into the camera's view. Mom's in the photo, beaming. And she beamed again weeks later when she gave me my bracelet. At that visit, in late January, my sister M had driven her to my daughter's where Mom again cuddled her great-granddaughter Harriet, and pronounced again "What a Beautiful Baby" she is. And she listened, very content, as we ooh-ed and aah-ed my bracelet and marvelled once more that she'd pulled the whole coup off.
And the following week, we got the diagnosis that the cancer was on the prowl again. . .
I have many other ways to remember her love, but the bracelet is tangible, at hand, if you'll pardon the pun. I find that its sweet blandness gets an edge that I prefer when I combine it with two other Christmas gifts: one from Pater, a gold bracelet with a killer whale motif, carved by Haida artist James McGuire; one from my daughter Rhiannon, a charmingly simple strand of gold beads on a leather lace, by Michael Kors. Of the latter, I have to say that this daughter is really hitting her gift-giving stride!
And it was to her, to my daughter Rhiannon, that I sent the photo above, from my phone, a couple of weeks ago. Just a quick text to show her how much her gift pleased me, and how perfectly it works together with the other two.
Wish I could send one to my Mom as well. Instead, I'm posting this little vignette, and who knows, perhaps at the edge of cyberspace, the metaphysical, the spiritual, all our love and intentions and memories mix together into . . . What? Who Knows? I find I'm not quite ready to surrender my one-time belief that our souls persist, despite my intellectual convictions against . . .
Meanwhile, I'm wearing my arm party of love . . .