“Good memories are like charms… each is special. You collect them one by one, until one day you look back and discover they make a long colourful bracelet.James Patterson, author
I happened across this quote the other day, and it brought to mind my mother’s charm bracelet. They were quite the thing in her day. My grandmother (her mother-in-law) also had one. Indeed, it may have been my grandmother who suggested it to my father, for they offered almost endless, present buying options.
My mother’s charm bracelet is actually gold (in the main) rather than colourful. The birth of each child was marked with a charm – mine was an old fashioned pram with a pale blue pillow, a perpetual reminder that I was expected to be a boy 😉 Significant anniversaries were marked likewise, so my mother received two charms for her 21st birthday – the pram for my arrival just two days after that significant date, as well as a gold 21. Places visited upon our travels offered more inspiration – my childhood favourite being the tortoise for a Christmas holiday spent in the Seychelles during a hurricane, while some charms had a double significance – the bull for the holidays spent in my grandparents’ retirement villa in Spain, as well as my mother’s birth sign of Taurus.
We travelled a fair bit when I was young – lengthy periods of leave every 3 years saw us visiting different parts of Europe to catch up with my parents’ old friends. In truth, I find myself struggling to remember the vast array of charms, since my mother stopped wearing her bracelet some time ago. I can’t say I blame her for it’s bulky and snags on everything – door handles and clothing in particular.
Writing this led me to the realisation that the bracelet holds keys to memories of my mother’s life with my father. He’s been gone for some years, and now could well be a good time to sit down with my mother – with her bracelet – and to see what memories come to mind. My father was the great raconteur in our family, nevertheless I suspect there’s a treasure trove of family history right there waiting to be told.
Do you collect physical reminders of experiences and events in your life? If so, what form do they take?
© Debra Carey, 2022