Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaBloPoMo 2010 Post #2 - The Bracelet

Today's writing prompt: Tell us the story of a piece of jewelry you own. Where did it come from, and what does it mean to you?

This is an even better question than yesterday's; and one with a very, very interesting answer...

I have a little sterling silver and onyx link bracelet that I received when I was five years old as a gift from my Uncle Poochie (he hates it when we call him that, but it's what we have called him since time out of mind, so he's just going to have to deal with it). He brought it back from Viet Nam after a year there with the Air Force in 1969. I love my Uncle Poochie, so I have always treasured the bracelet. Though I rarely wore it because the clasp was handmade and sometimes released when it shouldn't. Rather than risk losing the precious bracelet, I stopped wearing it altogether and let it adorn the inside of my jewelry box for about two decades before bringing it out again.

Two decades after receiving this priceless gift, I was traveling by plane from Starkville, Mississippi to see a long-distance boyfriend in Austin, Texas. When I was dressing for the trip, I wanted to look stunning when I got off the plane, so I put on more jewelry than I normally would have. I saw the beautiful little bracelet in my jewelry box and in a moment of forgetful inspiration clasped it onto my wrist.

I arrived at the airport without incident, but when I put my arms up to hug my boyfriend as I came off of the Jetway I noticed that my precious little bracelet was GONE! I immediately told the gate agent who allowed me to re-enter the plane and look all over the area where I had been sitting, dig around in the pouch in front of my seat, and retrace my steps all over the plane. Alas--it was GONE. Poof. Vanished.

I was dejected. It colored my visit with the boyfriend with a dark and gloomy glaze. (We broke up not too long after that, though it had nothing to do with the lost bracelet.)

When I returned home, every time I looked at my jewelry box I was stabbed with a pang of guilt. If only I'd left the precious little bracelet where it belonged. If only...

Two years later I was living in Montana. It had been Hell getting established there, both physically and emotionally. (That is a long and painful story to make a stone weep, and I'll spare you.) One day when I was feeling as low as I could get, and couldn't find a single reason to feel hopeful about my situation, I opened my jewelry box at the end of the day to put my earrings in it as I was undressing for bed and was absolutely stunned: my precious little lost bracelet was laying there in the jewelry box, where it always had lain for twenty years until I foolishly lost it.

I am not making this up. And I did not just think I lost the bracelet. The bracelet was lost, and the evidence of my painful error was with me every day for two years as I daily went in and out of that jewelry box to fetch and return the earrings of the day. There is no mistake. One day the bracelet was lost. The next day it wasn't. I have just walked to my bedroom to verify that it is still there, to make sure that I didn't imagine this highly implausible tale. It is still there. If you don't believe it was lost in the first place, you can contact my old boyfriend and he'll confirm how I lamented and wailed its loss (so much so that I ruined our weekend together).

I have no idea how the bracelet made it back into my jewelry box from the void. But it did. And I'm grateful to have it back; and to have it as a reminder that there are things in this universe so strange and mysterious that we cannot comprehend them.

No comments: