First, there were only two 'coins' on it, one with my sister's name on the front and her birthday on the back, and one with my name and birthday. Then years later she added the heart to represent her stillborn son. When my nephew was born, he got a coin too, next to my sister's, and almost four years later one was added for my niece. The last one my mom added was for our first son.
When my mom died, we talked a bit about what to do with the bracelet. It had been such a part of her, that we briefly considered having her wear it and take it with her into the grave. But it had too much meaning to do so. Incorporating it into the gravestone was also discussed - but the chances that it would get stolen were too big, so we abandoned that as well. Until we came up with a better idea, my dad kept it safe.
My dad recently had a sixth coin with our second son's name and birthday added to the bracelet, and when we saw each other over Easter, he gave it to me and asked to alternate it with my sister.
I won't wear it because it's not my story that it represents, but my mom's. I liked the idea of exchanging it with my sister, but at first I didn't really know what to do with it, I didn't want it just sit in its box and being forgotten until I would hand it to her.
But now I think I know. Today is my sister's birthday. So this morning I opened the box, I took the bracelet in my hand and looked at that oldest coin, the one with my sister's name and birthday on it and thought what that birth (a healthy girl after stillbirth and miscarriage, born on a day people in Holland remember the death from WWII) and that girl has meant to my mother for all those years.
|My mom and sister, on the beach in Holland, probably somewhere in the early 1990s|