Thursday, June 17, 2010

how charming

Beth over at Social Climbers recently posted about charm bracelets, and it got me thinking about my own charm bracelet. When I was younger, my Meme gave me her own charm bracelet from her younger days, and gave me my own, adding charms to it as the years went on. It has been living in my jewelry box, rarely seeing the light of day, until now.

This bracelet was my Meme's-

It includes a few charms that my aunt gave her in the early 1970's for Christmas, as well as charms from trips she took to Louisiana and Florida as a young girl, among others. Those older charms don't have dates!

Here is my charm bracelet-

It includes charms from my First Communion, from a Christmas or two, my 13th birthday, my middle school graduation (1994!), a sand dollar, a horse shoe and a small silver pig, from my days when I was really into collecting pigs.

I also found these two, which were never attached, for some reason-

From my sweet 16 in 1996 and my Confirmation, also in 1996.

I remember how exciting it was to get a new charm. We'd take it downtown to the local jeweler, who would attach it for me and then polish it up so it sparkled and shone in the afternoon sun. Walking out of the jewelers with the bracelet tinkling on my wrist, I always felt like such a fancy, grown-up lady.

I also found this, a loop to be worn on a chain to hold charms. Meme bought this when we realized that the bracelet was about full (maybe that is why the other two were never added?). This one includes a field hockey stick (I played in high school) and a charm for my high school graduation in 1998.

Those are the last charms I have. My Meme was diagnosed with lung cancer when I was in college and passed away in July 2003 while I was in Poland. My father called me and told me that I needed to come home. I arrived at the hospital one night where Meme was asleep and surrounded by family. She never woke up. I'd like to think that she knew I was there, that she waited until I could get home. I wish I could hear the stories of her charms one more time.

Perhaps I should begin collecting charms again, after more than ten years, and add them to a new bracelet, something I could give to my own daughter one day. I think Meme might like that. Perhaps also, I should begin a similar tradition for a niece or god daughter, should I have one someday. Then they could one day give it to their daughters.

Did you have a charm bracelet? I'd love to see photos and hear its story.


Annie said...

Ohhhh, aren't charm bracelets the best and full of rich history?! Love them!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Funny you should post this -- my virtual friends and I are in the process of sending each other beads and charms. There are seven of us participating. We all met through a site called and we all have children born in the same month. We've kept up with each other for two years and someone just came up with the idea to create a bracelet and for each of us to send charms to one another and we can wear them when we want or when/if we have a second child (as labor beads). I think it's a wonderful gesture of friendship -- a great idea to capture a moment, a person or a memory. You should definitely continue to collect charms that mean something to you. Great post!

Shoshanah said...

I have one of those Italian charm bracelets that was big a few years back. It's the one with the rectangle links and you take out a blank link and add a link with the charm. I know they've become horrible out of fashion, but I still wear mine, manly because my wrist feels naked without it. I guess I really need to move on to a new bracelet by now!

Pauline said...

Sounds like a great tradition that you could continue on with your daughter and other family.
I was never one for bracelets, but I do have a gold ring with all the women in my mother's side (starting with my great grandma) birthstones. It means a lot to me and makes me feel very connected to them.:)

midnight macaroons said...

I don't have one but I've been hinting to hubby that I want one from Mignon Faget. It's the New Orleans charm bracelet. I L-O-V-E your Meme's bracelet. Very cool!!!