I am blessed to still have both my grandmothers in my life. The Swimmy is doubly blessed to know her great grandmothers. And I? Am triply blessed to get to watch her know them.
My paternal grandmother is not only a very cool woman, but she has impeccable taste and a collection of jewelry that could rival many. I’ve been pretty open that I’m an accessory-whore, but I (openly!) covet her collection not for the pieces themselves, but for how they arrived in her possession.
My grandfather was an extraordinary gentleman – and a gentle man. He was friends with everyone, an unbelievable salesperson, a genuine friend, and a giving person. He and my grandmother traveled all over the world together – many times over. In each city, he would seek out the local synagogue and make a donation – usually anonymously.
He was also an immaculate dresser and a man who loved to shop. LOVED to shop. Especially for my grandmother. And so begins the stories of all her collection.
Just got finished with a dentist appointment? Here’s a “little bauble” (which included emeralds and would blind you after your eyes popped out.)
Here… it’s a Tuesday and I thought you might like this… but you tell me… (more blinding beauty just to see the look on my grandmother’s face.)
I grew up not only mesmerized by the pieces, but by the stories as well.
Today I asked to borrow her pearls. A special double strand of pearls with a gorgeous clasp because I have a party to go to this week which requires the ladies to wear (what else?) pearls. I have my own pearls I could have worn, but I knew that I wanted to wear hers because she had worn the same pearls to the same ball with my grandfather many years ago.
The Swimmy has inherited my love of jewelry (damn shame, huh?) and instinctively knew the moment I took that velvet box out of my purse that something special was in it. And so? A teachable moment occurred in our bathroom.
She had never seen pearls up close before and asked if she could wear them. I explained to her the story of the pearls and how specials pearls were because of how they were made… by magical oysters. She, too, was mesmerized. And I’ve never seen those pearls look so radiant as they did around her little neck.
And, who knows, maybe years from now, she’ll tell her daughter the story of the pearls and about the magical oysters. And my grandfather and generations of women in our family will be there as well – in the luminous strands around her neck.