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.
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.
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.
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.