An Item Held So Dear …. Cherished Blogfest

I don’t tend to *cherish* objects.  There are certainly many things I’m fond of that hold special memories for me, but I had to think long and hard about an object that was so dear to me, it’s loss would be painful.

I chose my grandmother’s bracelet.

Bracelet 2

My Italian grandmother – Marietta Tancredi – was born in 1888 and she married my grandfather – Carmine Sisca – in 1910.  No, that’s not a typo and no, we really have no idea when or why Sisca became Sisco.

I was told the bracelet was given to Marietta as a wedding gift from Carmine.  That seemed like a pretty significant gift in its time because these people were – in the words of Marietta’s brother – poorer than poor.  It’s why they eventually left their homeland and came to Canada looking for a better life.

This bracelet was one of only a few objects that passed to my father after his parents passed away in the 1960s.  It is the only object I have from either my maternal or paternal grandparents.  It’s value to me is immeasurable.

In this 1912 photograph of Marietta (on the left), with my father in the centre, she is wearing the bracelet.

dad 1914

I was smitten the first time I saw it.  The horse’s head was kind of interesting, but that wasn’t its main attraction.  It was the soft pinkish glow of the gold – my first introduction to rose-gold.

Not only is the bracelet special, but the occasion in which it was given to me is also very significant.

It was Christmas 1982 and I had just received confirmation two weeks earlier that I had passed my exams and was now a Chartered Accountant.  I was spending Christmas at home with my parents and on Christmas morning you would have found the 3 of us sitting around the kitchen table drinking coffee and chatting happily.

For that brief moment in time, I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world.  I was officially no longer a studen,t, I had a professional designation after my name and I was about to embark on my career.

As noon approached, we were still sitting there …. gifts still unopened under the tree in the living room … when my mom handed me a small unwrapped box with the bracelet inside.  I felt like I had been handed a great treasure.  In fact it was and still is.

Bracelet

It symbolizes a piece of my family history, a connection to a woman I barely remember and yet I so strongly resemble, and at the same time, it symbolizes a significant milestone in my life.

I hope someday to pass it down to a cherished daughter-in-law.

cherished-blogfest-badge3

This post was written in response to the Cherished Blogfest hosted by Dan Antion, Damyanti Biswas, Paul Ruddock, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat.

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Family, Memories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to An Item Held So Dear …. Cherished Blogfest

  1. A wonderfully shared story of your family history. The memory of that Christmas morning drinking coffee with your parents when you received your grandmother’s bracelet is such a precious thing as well. The way your grandmother’s sleeve is pushed up in the photo seems so obviously on purpose – she was almost speaking to you over the years about how proud she was of this bracelet and now here you are cherishing it too…very special.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      That’s a good point … I’ve never really thought about the sleeve, but you’re right. It had to have been deliberately pushed up to show-off the bracelet! Good eye 🙂

      Like

  2. Cool bracelet and retro photo!

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  3. That bracelet is gorgeous! And how cool you have an actual photo of your grandmother wearing it back in the day… That would make any keepsake, pink gold or not, all the more cherishable. Thank you for sharing!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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  4. treerabold says:

    Beautiful bracelet and I really love the photo. Old family photos are priceless.

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  5. LB says:

    How wonderful that you have the bracelet AND the photo of your grandmother wearing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Having photographic evidence of the bracelet’s history is quite special. Very few, if any, similar treasures have survived and been passed down through my family…something to be cherished, indeed.

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  7. mickscogs says:

    I wasn’t going to comment on this story, but it has stayed with me since I read it. Your resemblance to your grandmother blows me away. Your stories are always so easy to read and well written; and you’re a CPA? Sounds like writing is more your forte. 😉

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  8. I don’t know what attracts me to antiques and jewelry and cars from the past, but I just love it. You can say its in my DNA (Parsis love antiques). Some of the century ago jewelry are so beautifully crafted that I believe modern designs cannot match them at all. A brilliant post. Thank you for participating, Joanne.

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  9. badfish says:

    Whoa…now that is an interesting piece. Don’t you just love that you have a photo of her wearing the bracelet? That is just very cool. I hope some day someone is looking at one of my objects that I’ve collected and saying something along these lines that you are saying. A legacy.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Your comment about a legacy made me thing of something I often fantasize about …. having the opportunity to take someone from the past and giving them a tour of our world and the legacy they left – like Mozart, or Abraham Lincoln.

      Liked by 1 person

      • badfish says:

        Yeah, my life has been so ethereal that I’m sure I may leave nothing for people to find. I would like to leave some kind of legacy. But what would that be…a check list of things to pack on trips?

        Like

  10. joey says:

    Lovely story and a beautiful piece 🙂

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  11. Mrs. P says:

    What a beautiful and seemingly unique bracelet. I agree with the others who have suggested finding out more about it. Talk to an antique jeweler and see if you can get any information or even a referral to someone who might have some for you. They used to have a program in the US called “Antique Roadshow” where experts would evaluate a given antique. Yours would be perfect for that…I really do feel that there is more to this story. Sometimes poor people are gifted items for their loyalty.

    My great, great aunt was gifted the china from a coffee magnate she attended to and that has passed down in our family. My sister now has that china. I have one cup and saucer for historical reasons. I would never use the china myself…but she would for very special occasions.

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    • joannesisco says:

      What a beautiful legacy to have in your family. I think if I was your sister, I would be inclined to want to use it for special occasions too!

      Thank you for reinforcing the idea that I need to have the background for this bracelet investigated further. It never occurred to me to do that.

      Like

  12. That is such a beautiful bracelet and such history! I would cherish it also!

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  13. Joanne this is a beautiful post with wonderful pictures. The story is very sweet and the bracelet is beautiful. My Mom loved her jewelry and I kept much of it. She died in 1987. I wear her favorite ring on my pinky finger every time I go out. She is always there with me in my heart but I love wearing her ring because I can see her instantly in my mind. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

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    • joannesisco says:

      I know what you mean about keeping your mom in your heart. There is something special about a piece of jewellry that was worn all the time. There is almost a tangible connection to them when the item is worn. How wonderful that you still have that connection after so many years!! ❤

      Like

  14. Wow! that’s so beautiful and when it has that history associated with it, it becomes even more precious. Lovely post!
    Stopping by from the Cherished Blogfest Linky.

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  15. Su Leslie says:

    Wonderful post. Such a beautiful bracelet and a lovely story to go with it. I think it is so cool not only to have this gorgeous heirloom, but a photo of your grandmother wearing it. Wow!

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  16. bkpyett says:

    Joanne, you have captured the excitement and magnitude of the essence of this magnificent bracelet. To know that your grandmother wore it is so special!

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  17. What a wonderful story, picture, and bracelet! I think it is lovely that you plan to pass it on to your DIL, but I’m secretly hoping for a granddaughter for you to pass it on to instead (don’t tell your son). I’m happy to have discovered your blog through the Cherished Blogfest… I think I’ll stick around for more!

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  18. What a wonderful thing to have, to cherish, and to pass on!

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  19. Lynn says:

    No wonder this piece is so cherished Joanne. It was given out of love & continues to be held in that regard. How wonderful to be connected to your grandmother through such an interesting piece!

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  20. Wow, Joanne, how awesome is it to see that pic of your grandmother and know you look so much like her?! What a neat connection between the two of you…this bracelet….giving it to your future-cherished-DIL is a great idea, but I think you should probably hold out for the one that gives you a granddaughter that looks just like you….keep up that tradition, huh? Beautiful story!

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  21. bikerchick57 says:

    That is a beautiful bracelet and story and loving remembrance of your grandmother. I have a few objects from dad’s mom that I consider very cherished and valuable in a sense that they cannot be replaced. I love the old photo…the clothes, the hair. Your grandmother was a beautiful woman, although I wonder why there were no smiles. Perhaps photography was scary back then.

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  22. NancyTex says:

    Lovely bracelet, lovely memories.

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  23. Sue Slaght says:

    So beautiful in material sense but more beautiful in the memories and history. So lovely.

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  24. It’s such an unusual piece too. It always surprises me when I see an antique that has a lot of character, although really, many of them did. Also looks like it held up pretty well. Oh, they don’t make ’em like they used to. Yes, definitely a treasured piece you are lucky to have.

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  25. What a beautiful story. It’s brought out the romantic in MM. Sniff. The symbolism of this kind of family heirloom makes it so much more than a simple object. Seeing the bracelet in the photo makes me wonder what important decisions and emotions were experienced as she wore it…

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  26. Sammy D. says:

    This is lovely, Joanne! Honestly I cherish your photo and your knowledge of your ancestors as much as your beautiful rose-gold bracelet. Your grandmother and her sister (?) carry such elegance and grace; it reminded me how important family photos were in those days to see even your toddler Father dressed in his ‘finest’.

    I did not know you were a Chartered Accountant 😊 Another thing we have in common as I took the CPA exam here in the States and was licensed in that profession which provided a great career.

    Thanks for participating in this blogfest. I just know reading all of these iber the next 3 days will be heartwarming.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Sammy for introducing me to this Blogfest! I didn’t know you were a CPA too! You’re right, it provided a very good career and an opportunity to retire early. I’ve been lucky!

      It is my grandmother’s sister in the photo with her. The families lost touch with each other when my grandparents came to Canada. Incredibly, I met her sister’s descendents 2 years ago when I returned to my dad’s hometown.

      This was the story I wrote about that trip…
      https://mylifelivedfull.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/finding-family/

      Liked by 1 person

      • My father was an Accountant and tried to turn me into a CPA. Leaving university with a Science degree that was basically useless, his suggestion was to do some accounting subjects at the local uni and get my CPA. So I did. And it nearly killed me. Literally. By the time I was doing the second subject for the year, I had a job and I hated the subject so I decided I wouldn’t bother studying because I wasn’t going to continue and I didn’t care if I failed. Only, Perfectionist Me got to the night before the exam and couldn’t do it. Couldn’t walk into an exam knowing nothing. So I sat up all night and studied for the exam. Driving home after the exam I suddenly found myself on the wrong side of the road with a bus coming in the other direction. See? Studying accounting almost killed me. Sorry, Dad.

        Oh, I passed the exam. 🙂

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      • Sammy D. says:

        Thank you for your link. My eyes filled as I read the part about your Italian relatives wondering if anyone would come back to find them. We know about the journeys of our immigrants but not so much about how affected are those who stayed in homelands.

        No one has researched Dad’s past beyond the generation who settled near Chicago – I keep thinking one of us must begin. Your tale and photo gives me incentive to raise this with my siblings when we gather for Dad’s 90th this summer.

        Like

        • joannesisco says:

          Where did your dad’s family originate?

          When I started poking around in my family’s history – unfortunately, after both my parents passed away – I thought my siblings would show some interest and help me. It wasn’t what I expected.
          Not everyone is interested in writing down what they remember. I guess that’s why so much history dies with each passing generation.
          If I ask specific questions, a story might pop out, but unfortunately, we don’t always know the right questions to ask that will trigger a thought.

          … and yes, I got really emotional too at that comment from my distant cousin. It hadn’t occurred to me there would be feelings of abandonment.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sammy D. says:

            I don’t know!! I have gotten vague answers because I’m not sure he knows being one of the youngest and only surviving sibling. He oribably remembers his Mom talking about Chicago but not the old country. He’s mentioned a name starting with B (not Bavaria) that I didn’t recognize -perhaps a region in Germany, Austria or nearby. I’ll ask again when the family gathers this autumn. Mom can trace hers back to the Mayflower but Dad’s was a much poorer, more scattered history.

            Thanks for the nudge; now I need to know!

            Like

            • joannesisco says:

              I know what you mean about a poorer, more scattered history. My knowledge of my family pretty well ends with my grandparents … people are barely knew. I’m trying to preserve as much of what I know as possible for the next generation. There might be reams of photos now -thanks to social media – but it doesn’t mean there are stories and context to go with them.

              On your mom’s side though – yoozer!! You have a mother lode of potential info!!

              Liked by 1 person

  27. Heyjude says:

    This is so charming! What a beautiful piece of jewellery – the soft rose-gold, the seed pearls the horse’s head. Exquisite. Have you ever tried to find out more about it? Who designed it? And such wonderful cherished connections to the past for you and your grandmother. Delighted to see this Joanne. I once had a rose-gold garnet ring that belonged to my grandmother. Stupidly I never took it off and consequently lost it one day whilst gardening 😦

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I would be as heartbroken as you having lost such a special treasure!

      It never occurred to me to try and research the bracelet. I’ve had it appraised a few times over the years. Last year an appraiser suggested it would be an ideal time to sell it since it was the Chinese Year of the Horse.
      No – that wasn’t going to happen!

      Like

  28. Words fail…. This would indeed be a cherished possession. I think what blew me away the most was having a photograph of your grandmother as a young woman wearing the bracelet. THAT is special.

    Like

  29. Solveig says:

    This is do beautiful. I really understand why you cherish this bracelet. And the story that you tell with it is just marvellous.

    Like

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