Friday, May 4, 2012

The bracelet

My mom used to wear this bracelet

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
And it made me tear up, because I miss my mom so much.


Dandelion Breeze said...

What a beautiful thing to have as a memory of your mum and your family's history... such a wonderful thing to cherish and to share xoxo

Fran said...

So so beautiful and I have tears in my eyes too for your pain. Big hugs, Fran

Valery said...

8 o'clock was emotional again. Don't know why, but I tear up more than I used to on this remembrance moment.
what a day to have a birthday for your sister.
Glad you found your way with the bracelet, glad you have some connection, not just with your mother's story but with your family as well.
hugs from holland!

Tami said...

What a beautiful memory of your mom. I was thinking that perhaps you could frame it in one of those "shadow box" frames so you and your sister could display it, but then when you mentioned holding it in your hand an looking at that coin, I realized it needs to be available for that on every birthday.

Happy Mother's Day.

St Elsewhere said...

I have very little to say...except that it's so beautiful as a keepsake. I am glad your family did not decide the bury the bracelet and kept it on.

And oh, the layers of meaning!