As legend has it, my Dad brought a silver bracelet home with him from a stint in Africa with the peacecorp. Years later when I was born, he carefully placed that bracelet on my wee baby wrist and there it has resided all these years. The only exception being the two times it has fallen off.
The first time it simply got caught, opened up and fell off in a pool while I was swimming. I was eight years old at the time and it was not too traumatic, but the second time, well that is quite a story…
On a family trip to the lake a few years ago, Kaleb and I and my mom and dad rented a boat for a day of water skiing, swimming and tubing. The weather was perfect, the sunshine strong and overhead, warming our bodies to the core. Without a care in the world, Kaleb and I hopped on an inner tube for a little joyride. We started gaining speed, wind whipping us in the face, when it flipped and we tumbled into the deep. My bracelet somehow got caught and down it went, covered up by the dark murky water, sinking to the bottom of the lake. No sooner had the reality of this loss set in, than the sky went from bright to ominous. It seemed as soon as that bracelet touched down, everything broke loose. Dark clouds came over head, rain started pounding down, thunder boomed and lightning struck all around us.
Now I have never and hope to never act this way again, but I was beyond crushed, completely heartbroken. I was screaming, wailing. Kaleb had to grab my still crying self and swim me to the boat, push me in and get us to land, quickly.
In a strange sort of way I felt my identity had been lost. I had envisioned myself a wise, wrinkled old woman still wearing my beautiful silver treasure, the bracelet remaining a part of me and my story. My parents, obviously sad too, as it had been a part of all of us, decided to hire a diver. Dick the Diver to be exact. For $50.00 he and his 10 year old nephew set out in search, with their only source for direction being, "somewhere on this 1/2 of the lake!"
Now, I am absolutely an optimistic, glass half full kind of gal, but this did not seem like a very realistic find. Dick the Diver told us that he had found plenty of fishing rods, various boating accessories, and even a set of car keys but all of those had been close to shore. Not to mention, the owners of those items had a pretty good idea where they had dropped. Even with all this, I waited hopefully in the boat as Dick and his nephew disappeared below the surface. About 20 min in, up pops the nephew, and he's holding my bracelet!
On the ride back to shore Dick's nephew tell's us how poor the visibility was down there. He could only see about a foot in front of his face. A ray of light from the surface caught his attention and when he followed it down it was shining on the bracelet which was resting gracefully atop a rock. Miracle? Yes, for me, I believe so.
I have carried on the tradition with both my girls. I debated whether it was a good idea, after all, mine has caused me quite a bit of trouble not being willing to take it off. But in the end, I knew I had to. It's a story, something unique to pass on, a beautiful moment. Thus far, theirs have stayed on too. Aussie is just beginning to notice that it's special and I can see her becoming attached also. I love to think how long it could last, how many generations this tradition could pass through. It's all so romantic, and lets face facts, we could all use some more of that.