grandma’s earrings

The other night, the girls were digging around my jewelry box when they discovered the drawer where I keep my Grandma Thelma’s jewelry.

Squeals of delight and eyes glowing with excitement, they beg to put on her clip-on earrings.

Before I continue with my story, I want to share a little bit about Grandma Thelma.

Firstly, she was one of the loveliest ladies on the planet.

She was a masterful maker of arts and crafts. I have a Christmas tree full of her creations to prove it.

Creator of the most beautiful stuffed bears with working arms, legs and heads. Each one lovingly crafted and donated to sick children at the local hospital; except for the ones she gifted to my sisters and I each holiday. A white one sits on my couch today.

Questionable driver of a white and maroon Monte Carlo, well into her early 90s.

She kept her cookware in the stove and always had her homemade chocolate candy available for snacking. I think it was the only thing she could cook.

She inspired me. Even as a child, when I would write my stories, she encouraged me. It started with my winning a writing contest in the 4th grade and attending a young authors conference at the local university for a day. They supposedly put our books into their library, I wonder if they still have them somewhere in the dusty stacks or in a box down in the basement.

She would write me notes telling me that I should keep writing my stories. Well into my 20s, she kept telling me to write a book. She believed in me. I have kept that belief with me for all these years.

I miss her. She lived to the age of 98, just a couple of years shy of my first child’s birth.

I wish my girls known her….

I should say, she loved big sparkly clip on-earrings. She had quite a collection of them.

Her jewelry style was fabulous, circa 1960’s. Large necklaces, clunky bracelets, big earrings, and scarf pins.

I happen to have two pairs of her earrings and several of her beloved pins.

The girls squeal with delight as they discover their treasures in my jewelry box. Jumping up and down with excitement, begging me to put them on.

One pair is small and filled with delicate shades of blue crystals.

The other is larger and more glamorous with soft clear white crystals. Subtle rainbows reflect in the soft light.

I carefully clip each earring on their ears and the girls run straight to the mirrors.

Admiring themselves. Their ears twinkle and shine.

I tell them about Grandma Thelma and that they are wearing her earrings. I share stories about her.

Ava says, “I miss her,” even though she had never met her.

I tell her back, “I miss her too.”

First thing this morning, they ask for the earrings again.

They want to wear them to school.

I quietly counsel that no, they are just for wearing at home and that they are very special to me. I don’t want them to ever get lost.

I love the small reminders my Grandma Thelma leaves me. Watching my girls wear her earrings makes me happy. In a way, her earrings allow my girls to know her, even if it’s just a little bit.

Grandma’s jewelry, a family tree shared through the blending of crystal and metal.

Thank you, Grandma.

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