Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Charm Bracelet

Journal for Christa—

The charm bracelet was gone. I had expected to find it in my jewelry box which houses all sorts of trinkets, from my high school class ring and NHS pin to a broken string of beads that my grandmother once made me, which I intended to restring and never did.

Life got busy, as life often does. Somewhere amidst raising kids, working, and going to church, I had lost the charm bracelet. I’m sure it was grieved and then forgotten as so many seemingly significant events are played out.

It might not have mattered, except we’d just been to Europe and Kim had said that people were beginning to wear charm bracelets again—that I should wear mine. So, I thought I would—and purchased several new charms as mementoes of our travels.

But, it was gone. I looked in a few other places, knowing quite well that if the bracelet wasn’t in the box, it wasn’t anywhere. When I told Jay, his response was logical—so like a man—“Well, you’ll just have to get a new bracelet. You’ll have to start over.”

I didn’t want to start over. Charms I hadn’t thought about in years and never anticipated thinking about again suddenly became very important, and I wanted them. I wanted the charms I’d bought in Europe 33 years ago—and the charms that represented all the things we’d done in between. I wanted them. I wanted them all, right down to the plastic heart with a cross in it that was all scratched up—that I’d told myself in Europe I’d replace when I got home. How many charms had I bought? Four? Five? So few compared to what I used to have.

So, here I sit—knowing that unless I’ve given the bracelet to one of my daughters, yet certain I haven’t, the bracelet and all my charms are gone.

However—if I’d remembered I’d lost the bracelet, we wouldn’t have searched through all the charms in the little shop at Cinque Terre to find the one with the most colorful houses on it that overlooked the Mediterranean; we wouldn’t have looked in Paris for just the right Eiffel Tower, and Jay wouldn’t have said, “Hey, here’s one of the Coliseum. You should buy it, even though we’ve already been there.”

So, sometime this week I’ll hunt for a bracelet for my little charms, and I’ll wear it too. I figure it will look something like the old one, just minus a lot of charms. :/ But, Jay is right. I can start over—and I will. And though the old charms are memories that I’ve always had, maybe the best adventures are still ahead. (I will certainly have plenty of room on my bracelet for their charms.)

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