My paternal grandmother was a trip. She was a hairdresser back in the day (she would say “beauty operator”) and loved all things girly. When she went out the door, she was always perfectly coifed, skirt, hose, and heels, and fingers bedecked in jewelry.
As a child, I used to sit at her table and play in her jewelry box and try on the rings and her “earscrews”. She loved to sit with me and talk about my grandfather buying this piece at the pawn shop or surprising her with that piece for her birthday. My favorite was a pair of diamond earrings that sparkled in my ears as I would twirl around her kitchen and pretend to be a queen. (Has anyone seen that t-shirt that says “I set out to conquer the world, but got distracted by something shiny”? That is so me.)
Upon her death, she had requested that my mother receive her jewelry, and when I was home, I would go into Mom’s jewelry box and borrow a brooch for church or slip a bracelet on, or finger the earrings, just to have a moment of closeness with my beloved grandmother. Several years ago, Mom gave me those earrings for Christmas. It was unexpected and stunning and oh, so special to me.
I have worn them often, not just for special occasions, and certainly not in hose and heels for a grocery store run. They were recently replaced with something a little more modern (an equally special gift from my husband for our anniversary). I keep them close by, though, in a box, and one day I hope to have a granddaughter that will sit at my table and play dress-up with them. And I’ll tell her stories of the Beauty Queen in a land far away who loved me very much.