I honor those whom I have loved and lost by wearing their jewelry.
Piece by treasured piece, I armor myself.
With each piece chosen, I conjure up my relatives. I visualize them wearing the jewelry, and fondly remember what they meant to me.
There is a vulnerable yet powerful aura of presence in those family jewels. And each piece worn has a purpose and an emotional, familial implication.
I turn to my “loved” collection for inspiration, when I need a reminder of my self-worth or a quick family fix.
As I review the collection and consider what to wear, I surround myself with my lost, much-loved, and much-missed family.
The mere act of choosing makes me teary-happy and reconnects me to my almost forgotten past. I also feel empowered and protected.
My coat of armor. My security shield. My ancestral weapon. My bauble blankie.
The ritual of selecting is calculated, and my choices are deliberately sentimental. And I never seek out the most expensive, or the prettiest pieces.
I adorn myself in the jewels of my lost ones to keep them close to my physical self. It’s as simple as that.
I also don my lucky charms to mark an important day in their lives or mine. And depending on the occasion, I know exactly what piece to wear.
On my cousin’s birthday, for example, I wear all things Pamela, or on Mother’s Day, my grandmother’s locket.
I consider my jewelry menagerie to be not just the ultimate in intimate accessorizing but a source of spiritual strength and confidence.
To describe the physical and emotional feeling of their jewelry against my skin is to use words like moved, respected, honored, remembered, missed.
Oh, so dearly missed.
The peace in every piece gladdens me, but also saddens me, a reminder that too many have died; some way too soon and way too young.
Ironically, many of the lives of those I loved didn’t overlap; the only commonality was their love for me.
Sometimes the choosing tears at my heart. That very heart they all so lovingly touched.
How I wish I could go back in time and appreciate my loved ones more. I so often took their love and their lives for granted, assuming they would be with me a lot longer than they were.
Now, they are but a ring, a pendant, a statement piece.
I am hopeful that when I am gone, my “loved” collection will get divvied up among those nearest and dearest to me.
But will they want it? And will they wear it? It gives me solace to imagine that they will indeed cherish those treasured adornments that meant so much to me.
In their wearing, the love I had for those I lost and the love they had for me, will be forever memorialized through their jewelry—and mine.
The possibility that somewhere somehow, we won’t all be gone without a trace.
One thought on “Their Jewelry, My Armor”
I wear my armor daily. A Sterling bracelet from Egypt that my father in law traded for a pack of America n cigarettes in WW2. After my mother in law passed from lung cancer he passed it to me. I wear it every day and think of them both and each of their individual struggles.
Sent it to the Smithsonian to have it dated. Camelback as a true heirloom…400 years old ! I would feel naked without it.