|The incredible charm of the souvenir memories dripping off of a golden chain.|
In French, it’s the same, but opposite. A souvenir in normal first usage is a memory and the object used to trigger and honor that memory is the souvenir.
Are you starting to think, “there she goes again”(?) wondering where my scattered brain is taking us today. It’s simple: The memory of my lunch with my dear, dear friend Judy on Sunday who was wearing her charm bracelet on a wrist also decorated with gold bangles of various sizes.
We played with her bracelet as she ticked off the memories related to the gold souvenir memory markers hanging off of the bauble. She had cats, some with jeweled eyes — she’s a cat person — an Eiffel Tower, a simple disk engraved with an Indian love poem from her husband and many other charms.
|Some of the charms, already on my bracelet: A golden heart that has my mother’s baby teeth marks on it, a baby shoe when Andrea was born and my first German shepherd (these are not my charms, but you get the idea).|
Instantly, I wanted to take my bracelet, dripping with souvenirs, out of my jewelry box, polish it and, after a long hiatus, start wearing it again. A little later, it also occurred to me that there is still room to add more memories on the chain that was once my great grandfather’s watch fob and given to me by my mother.
All the charm of the charm bracelet came rushing back to me.
I have a French friend who has a gorgeous bracelet heavily laden with her memories, which she says has been one of her greatest jewelry joys. “It also makes gift-giving so easy for my husband and children,” she told me. “When they can’t think of a gift for me, they choose a charm. I cannot begin to tell you what the bracelet means to me.”
Curiously, my bracelet has no charms to remind me of Paris or France which seems odd to me when I think about it. I have more than 25 years of some of the happiest souvenirs/memories of my life stored neatly away in my mind and yet not one charm to show for them.