The stories we tell

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As the only female blood-relative my grandmother had, i inherited all over her extensive jewellery collection. This was something both she and i relished for years. We would pick over the contents of her boxes and cases talking about when and where pretty, sparkling things were procured and on what occasions they were worn. We rarely focused on the prices of items… so i realize now that i have no idea which of the pieces should be deposited in safety deposit boxes to be protected from my incessant mislocating of important items and which can be safely worn with only sentimental value on the line.

My mother was particularly interested in a hematite, turquoise and coral pendant which i promptly told her to keep. My grandfather gave it to my grandmother on one of their only trips off the continent – to Jamaica. My Grammy was particularly fond of this sort of arrangement and i demonstrated the point by showing my Mom the number of items my grandmother had given her over the years that resembled it in cut and setting.

Sitting on my mother’s bed pouring over her collection of both inexpensive and expensive accumulated pieces from different relatives and friends i realize the true value of items like jewellery… the stories they represent.

Only my inexpensive jewellery is still at my home in Blainville. That and the collection of earrings to which i only have one of the pair and that i am ever saying i will convert into pendants.

My New Year’s Resolution is to not be cheap this month and get these items appraised, rings re-sized and earrings converted so that i can wear these memories on my person in the same way i showcase the photographs of voyages and big events.

My favourite almost-forgotten story of the week revolves around a gold, enamel inlay timepiece my Grammy wore around her neck when i was a little girl. I would sit on her lap, before i could read an analog clock, and like any small child was fascinated with lockets, boxes and any items with hinges. i would ask over and over again what time it was… and the answer was always conferred to me after much pensive deliberation: “Half-past kissing time, time to kiss again!” amongst a flurry of kisses. My Mom says that her own grandmother (fifteen years the senior of mine) would do the same to her when she was a little girl.

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