The brooch was always in the jewelry box on her vanity. Whenever I visited, we would sit on the couch and she would show me all of her rings, brooches and bracelets. When I touched each piece of jewelry, the stone pendants or the sparkling crystals, I would picture my Grandma as a young woman all dressed up. With that contagious smile.
My vintage piece for this week is an item that I inherited from my Grandmother. The brooch is from the 1950s, an era where brooches and pins were a popular fashion accessory. They were worn on everything from dresses to winter coats. However, unlike fashion trends, that come and go, sometimes the memory of a family heirloom or treasure makes an item last no matter what the era. For me, the memory of my Grandma is what makes this vintage item timeless. While I could give you a fashion history lesson, I’d rather share with you what the memories that I have associated with this brooch have meant to me.
Visiting my Grandma’s house when I was a kid was by far my favorite way to spend the weekend. We would usually go on Fridays after school. I remember sitting in class just waiting for the bell to ring so that I could grab my coat and head out the doors to find my parent’s car waiting in the parking lot. I would be the first one in the car ready to beat the evening traffic, but of course, my little Brother would take for-ev-er. Once we finally hit the road, I would just keep looking at the time, calculating how much longer it would take to get there.
When we finally made it to her street, I would run up the steps to her door. I would rush through the door – ‘Grandma!’ I’d exclaim and give her a big hug. I can still picture that house perfectly. Even as a little kid, being there, I could feel the memories and the laughter that filled the home that my Grandparents had made for their children and grandchildren.
No sooner was I in that house was I in a different world. The staircase creaked, there were many rooms with antique furniture and so many drawers and closets where you could find all sorts of artifacts. The treasures I would find only added to my world of make believe. I would always play one of my favorite heroines; Anne Shirley (Anne of Avonlea), Sara Crewe (A Little Princess) or Wendy Darling (Peter Pan). Rushing up or down the staircase, I would ask my Grandma if I could play in the office or go to the basement to find treasures, completely unaware that it was time for dinner.
When I was in the world of make believe, it was sometimes a struggle for me to come back to reality. And while my cousins would tease me for my fanciful imagination (get it?), my Grandmother just always understood. More than understood, she encouraged my creativity and took an interest, as she did for all of her grand children. Whether it was basketball or friendship bracelets, she always wanted to learn from her grand children just like we wanted to learn from her.
As I grew up, the world of make believe became out of reach as it does for all of us once we reach a certain age. Our imaginative minds that bring us joy in childhood, bring us worry as we become adults. My Grandma’s house however remained a comfort. Her presence could silence any worry just as much as when she could bring sound to a world of make believe. When I look back now, it was she who was my heroine all along.