Monday, December 14, 2015
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Once, my grandmother gave me a compact.
It was absolutely beautiful. Cool, shinning, perfect yellow brass embellished with scarlet cloisonné sparrows. I had never seen one anything so perfect.
At the time, it was probably 50 years old. I told myself that I would never let it out of my sight. That even 50 years from then, I would be handing it down to my own grandchild with that same illuminated smile stretched across my face.
I can still see her pressing it into my right hand and as I reached up to clasp it with my left, she leaned down and gently held my palms together with the compact nestled between us. "Take care of this", she said. "They don't make these anymore. It's very special, and I saved it for you." I stared down at the now warm gift in my hand and promised that I would.
The years passed and the compact lost it's shine from being thrown into my makeup bag among my generic drugstore finds. Later the mirror inside cracked after it found its way into the bottom of my book bag and into a gym locker. I shuddered a bit inside when I saw that crack; Remembering my grandmothers words and the way my heart had once leapt at the sight of those ruby sparrows glistening in my hand.
Soon after, I remembered the shattered gift at the bottom of my bag. Stained, tarnished, and damaged from my carelessness. I decided to dig it out, and repair it the best my hands, now 20 and a bit wiser, could manage.
I searched every bag.
I dumped out every container, and even traversed my schools "lost and found" looking for that compact.
It was gone.
It's been 16 years since I first laid eyes on that gift. 12 years since the last time I saw it in its damaged condition, and 13 months since the death of my grandmother.
I'm still not over my carelessness. My inability to see, respect, and care for my priceless gift. Now, I search every antique store, every yard sale, and estate auction hoping to find something as perfect as those enameled birds and their crimson eyes glittering in a sea of gilded metal; and to this day, I have never seen another one like it. Not even close.
Some gifts, I suppose, are once in a lifetime. 💜