The Bracelet

For the past couple of days, I have been wearing a charm bracelet that was given to me when I was nine years old. It’s silver with little charms that dangle from rounded chains connected by other rounded chains. It’s like those paper chains we used to make in school from colored construction paper and then hang from Christmas trees as garland. Only made of silver. And much nicer. It was brought back for me from Holland. I’ve added some charms to it over the years, but I still keep it in a special place in my jewelry box. The person who gave me the bracelet was very special to me. Although she is no longer with me, I wear the bracelet at times I need to feel her presence; when I need to feel her closer to me and to be nine years old again. I think we all need that from time to time.
A friend just recently lost his father. It’s tragic and sad and reminded me of her. Not of her death or of her illness that took her, but of the woman who was very involved in my life, who said I would always be a little bit hers. Of summers at the cottage, trips to baseball games and our first ride on a plane. She died at the age of fifty after a stroke and health problems that left her weak and unable to speak. I still miss her and carry her with me everywhere. The memories remain even if she is no longer in my presence.
I wanted to say something that would ease the pain of losing a loved one, but there is nothing that can be said; only that the person may be gone, but you carry that person with you always. He is not lost, he is not gone forever from your memory or from what makes you, you. He is gone from your house, from his house, from his car, from the physical portion of your world, but he remains a part of you. The words he has spoken, the essence of who he was, what he meant to you, how he made a difference in your life, is not gone. He is carried through your life, through your children and through your words and actions.
I’ve lost my parents, my brother and my friend, but their presence is always one I feel. Words I say to my kids, I can often hear my mother’s voice. When I look at my son’s eyes and see his passion for golf (yes, golf) I see my father. Every time I get the opportunity to work with a struggling student, or hear the rumble of a motorcycle, I see my brother’s smile. When I feel the sand between my toes and hear the ocean, I think of Oogie and remember how much she loved the sound of the ocean waves.
Sometimes it takes a tangible object like my bracelet, to bring them closer. I still have my mother’s jewelry, I still have trophies that once belonged to my brother, I still have my father’s slides and old projector, and I have my bracelet. All things that once belonged to my loved ones, but I keep in remembrance. Not that I need these things to remember, I have them because they once loved these things. They once touched them, admired them, and belonged to them. I guess they make me feel closer to them for having something they once loved, but I don’t need these objects all of the time.
My loved ones are never far from me. I just know where to look….

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11 thoughts on “The Bracelet

  1. Well written about an aspect of life all of us go through. Someday, after the kids are out of the house, you may move … which provides you an opportunity to purge many items. But, you will encounter items that you will keep, and only you truly understand why. Well done, Kayjai! … now go have a glass of wine for a toast!

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