For Christmas I was given a box, made of French ivory, that held within its confines a piece of jewelry that had belonged to my maternal grandmother, aka Zun. In some ways it is so wonderful to have something of hers that rests just above my heart. Zun was one of those magnificent grandmothers that creates such a spate of wonderful memories that there is nothing but deep gratitude she was mine.
The piece of jewelry is a gold chain that has a penguin charm on it. The penguin has emerald eyes. My Zun loved penguins, she even used to claim she must have been one in a former life. The emeralds are a symbol of where I was born.
I was most grateful that I could add to the chain and include my miniature gold tumi. My tumi was a gift from my host family, when I returned to Ecuador, as a gift for being in their lives and like a sister to their children.
“What matters is at the end of life, when you’re about to pass into oblivion, that you’ve at least scratched ‘Kilroy was here,’ on the last wall of the universe.”
~ William Faulkner, Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner
Oh, and here is a wonderful, though different, quote in French;
“Oh ! Les vieilleries ! Vieilles lettres, vieux vêtements, vieux objets dont on ne veut pas se débarrasser. Comme la Nature a bien compris que, tous les ans, elle doit changer de feuilles, de fleurs, de fruits et de légumes, et faire du fumier avec les souvenirs de son année ! (19 octobre 1906)”
~ Jules Renard, The Journal of Jules Renard