She’s dancing around the living room, dressed in what can only be described as a getup – a dark red and navy wool plaid skirt and a bright print top in wild colors.
And around her right ankle, a bracelet that once belonged to my grandmother.
It’s not valuable, at least not in price, and when Elle found it in my jewelry box, there was no question of whether I would let her keep it. Let it circle her wrist rather than sit unused in a jewelry box.
Of course, if anyone kept track of its movements since it came into my daughter’s possession, they might think we haven’t taken very good care of it. I’ve found it under Elle’s bed, at the bottom of her box of dress up things, in my purse, in the bathroom, on the floor in the hallway, in a kitchen drawer, and in her own jewelry box. For starters. (The crown jewels get slightly better treatment, I’ll admit. )
And now, around her ankle.
The bracelet isn’t delicate, but it is decorated with flowers. With it around her ankle, below the plaid skirt, Elle manages to look like a schoolgirl with attitude and a Bobbsey Twin in one stylish fell swoop. I think (I know) it would have made my grandmother laugh.
She stops dancing after a few moments. “This is bothering me, can you take it off?” I unclasp the bracelet. Hold it in front of me while I take a moment longer than I need to close the clasp again. I think of my grandmother.
“Is your grandma still alive?” Elle is watching me. She’s always known where the bracelet came from, and seems to read my mind.
“No, sweetie, she’s not.”
Except in this. She’s alive in this bit of her that I hold in my hands. In things as small as a bracelet. Or as big as the heart of a seven year old.
It’s not enough, but it’s a lot.
I wanted to thank everyone for the kind comments on my last post, about that bit of writing. With all the packing and getting ready for our move, I didn’t get around to sending everyone a note by email. I hope you will accept my deep thanks now – your words were so encouraging and lovely and they (you) made my day. xoxo