|The Prodigal Charm Bracelet|
It's been MIA for over a year. I didn't dare say this to anyone else, but as the weeks and months passed by I was beginning to lose hope that I would ever see it again.
Even as doubt began to creep in, I still refused to say the bracelet was lost. This wasn't just any old bracelet, though as one of my oldest pieces of jewelry, it was getting up there in years. This was my charm bracelet. The one dad bought for me one foggy day in San Francisco thus beginning decades of collecting pretty sterling silver momentos of the places we traveled to or lived in. Between the sentimental value, the added cost of each charm, and cost of travel, the bracelet definitely had a "priceless" quality to it.
For these reasons and more it was difficult to admit it was likely lost forever. For all intents and purposes I said the bracelet was missing. I was so sure at the beginning that the bracelet would miraculously appear...Under the bed amidst the dust bunnies on the floor...In one of the many trinket boxes cluttering my room...Tucked under the driver's seat of my little VW bug, along with the quarters, candy and gum wrappers that cluttered the floor...Jammed into the desk drawer that houses all the junk that you don't want to throw away, yet doesn't have a good home in the house...hanging out in the wet bar sink that has only been used as a storage bin for junk mail, bobby pins, cellphone charges and other devices...My list of places to look could go on and on.
Each place I methodically combed thru came up empty-handed...no charm bracelet, no sign of any charms. After all the years of collecting the silver replicas of the places we visited, it was hard to let go and resign myself to the fact that it was likely gone. Gone for good. Gone for bad. Gone. Gone. Gone.
My heart knew it. My mind knew it, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it out loud because once I did, all bets were off and my words would make it so. Gone forever. So I did the only thing I could do. I pretended to myself not to care which was a bold faced lie. I also pretended to be confident...it would show up at the least unexpected moment.
I also prayed to God that if were not too much trouble, could he lead me to my bracelet? After all, if there was one thing I knew for sure it was that God knew exactly where my charm bracelet was. If it was in some obscure place in my room, or stuffed into some box of junk we didn't know what do with, he would reveal it when the time was right.
I had only misplaced my charm bracelet once before which is surprising because I have a bad habit of subconsciously taking off my jewelry and putting the jewelry down without any thought which has resulted in the loss of many other bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces. But my charm bracelet? Never! It had too much sentimental value for me to be so careless with it.
It was one of the first "real" pieces of jewelry I owned. Dad bought it for me one foggy day 40-years ago in San Francisco. What made him decide to do it, I'm not sure. All I know is we walked into a little store located on the crowded streets as we walked from Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 39 and we came out with a glistening silver bracelet, with a glistening clover shaped charm firmly attached. With all our travels, it was a perfect gift. Soon the links were filled with charms in the shape of the state in which we visited or some other sightseeing wonder. I mourned the loss of the Colosseum which we bought during my first visit to Italy and the Leaning Tower of Pisa which represented my second and likely (though I hope not) last trip to Italy.
It felt like a dream when I received a call from my baby girl last December asking me to "guess what". What? What? What? Guessing games are difficult as well as annoying when one is woken up from a deep sleep with no clue of where to begin. After a few failed attempts, she took pity upon me and agreed to give me a hint or two.
Her first hint gave me enough of a clue that I was afraid to guess what I wanted to guess. "You've been looking for it for a long time now." I was afraid I would cry if I was wrong. Where was my confident hope that I always laid claim to.
"You found my charm bracelet?!?" I braced myself, closing my eyes as she answered with a yes that was too good to be true. Surely she was pulling my leg. I waited for the punchline. Only there wasn't. After all that time, it turned out my bracelet was hidden tight in a crevasse of my car. Stuck in a little compartment between the back passenger seats and the trunk. A compartment we never ever used. A compartment I don't believe I never ever even opened.
For some obscure reason, Brie decided to open the compartment and feel around the perimeter when her hand came upon a cloth Brighton bag. It had to feel like a miracle when she opened the drawstrings and there was my charm bracelet glistening hello. It felt like one to me when she brought it to my room later that night.
My tears flowed. I love happy endings