Mr. Smith and I were Facetiming with our 9-year old granddaughter, Olivia, this past weekend. She was excited to show us a charm bracelet which had belonged to her great-grandma Pat. It was a piece of jewelry Pat had curated during her life and now it is Olivia’s. While studying the different charms she came across a palm tree. “Hey, did great-grandma Pat go to Hawaii???”
Grandma Pat’s travel charm bracelet is a wondrous way for her great-grandchild to get to know her better. Pat was 83 years old when Olivia was born. When you’re a little girl and your great grandma is in her late 80s, you only see the wrinkled, feisty old woman. It is difficult to realize she was once a young girl and woman with dreams of seeing the world.
When I asked Olivia about her favorite charms, she happily explained that she particularly loves the hourglass, the tricorn hat, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Pat added the hat when she visited Boston. Olivia had read a book about the Boston Tea Party and listened to the Hamilton soundtrack and feels drawn to the hat. Pat’s fingerprints on Olivia’s life. Paris is a destination that Olivia and I hope to one day visit together. Perhaps she can wear the bracelet when we are there and we can drink a toast to Pat. The hourglass remains a mystery, but perhaps a reminder to all of us of how precious our time is.
I do not have a charm bracelet, but I’m hoping someday my granddaughters and great-granddaughters will sort through some of the items I leave behind and take them for their own. I hope wearing a piece of jewelry or a silk scarf that once belonged to their grandmother who loved them so dearly will give them confidence and comfort. And maybe just a little curiosity about the old woman who treasured both her grandchildren and her mementos.
C’est la vie.