Sep 17, 2017

Marianne's bracelet

Yesterday I received a very special gift. It made me grateful, moved and nearly speechless.

Marianne was my sister’s mother in law. She was a lovely woman. We spent many Christmas Eve’s together and she and her husband Rutger became good friends with my parents when their son married my sister.

Marianne was intelligent. Vital. She was curious, interested and well updated in the goings on of the world. She listened to your opinion careful about not laying hers upon you. She was reflective. A conversation with Marianne was a pleasure.

Marianne seemed to enjoy sitting in a room contemplating what happened around her. With a smile watching her grandchildren grow up and her great grandchildren play. Everything about her was soft and mild.

Often Marianne and I lay on the couches in my sister’s home. We both had aching backs, that we shared. We discussed our situations but agreed on there was so many other topics being more interesting, let’s not waist time on this.

Although Marianne’s body was bent in a 90° angle she had a mental stature making you hardly notice. I saw here as the 5,8 foot (176 cm) she probably once was, if not more. Remarkable.

Marianne and Rutger had both been fragile for many many years, and at Christmas Rutger passed away. I was so happy to meet Marianne again at Easter. She had travelled all the way from Gothenburg to Umeå by herself, an extraordinary  accomplishment.

We had the chance to talk at length about her life companion of 60 years, the grief and the adjustment to going on by herself. I gratefully cherished our conversation and kept it in my heart.

In July she followed her husband. It was time. They were both 90 years old.

Yesterday my sister brought me a bracelet. She herself is a gold person and I am a silver. And this was a sliver bracelet. It was a rigid link, the style I am attracted to, which my sister knows very well. It was beautiful and at the same time cool. Timeless.

The bracelet had been Marianne’s and my sister asked me, would I like it? She told me it had been a piece of jewelry she wore a lot, like an every day bracelet if I remember it correctly.

I was stunned. I loved the bracelet. The sturdy link was perfect. But knowing it had been a dear piece on Marianne’s arm was nearly too much. How could I carry it? How could I carry on her grace and stature? 

I accepted the gift with grate gratitude and some tears. And I will wear it. I have been given the gift to wear a piece of Marianne. Maybe it will transfer a glimpse of her strength, if I am able to receive it. 

I will never gain or reach her humility and wisdom though. Marianne’s presence in a room was like a warm gently burning corner fireplace. 

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