Inspired by Her Mother’s Love of Charms

The author's cherished charm bracelet.

The six pillars in my mom’s life were prayer, family, friends, travel, shopping and jewelry. Not necessary in that order sometimes. LOL. But seriously, no matter what, all her thoughts and actions exuded love and kindness. You can tell from one of her signature pieces she crafted dating back to the 1970s and finally completed in the mid 1980s. Most of the charms were from friends or family. Others were purchased from Seymour Rubenstein—her suki (favorite) estate jeweler on 47th Street. As I admire them I’m reminded and inspired by their stories. Some of the trinkets seem to have foreshadowed events that didn’t even occur yet in her life. But I guess that’s what happens when you dream, hope, and believe in a life and future you were destined to have.

Photo: Clockwise from the center top…

1981 1/10 Krugerrand South Africa Coin
Purchased in the early 80′s from a coin shop in one of the buildings of Rockefeller Center. I think it was a gift from dad for her birthday. She always “picked” her gifts.

From a co-worker at the United Nations. She was aware mom was working on a charm bracelet and either bought it for her or gave it to her when she traveled back home to Brazil.

World Trade Center
Purchased from the World Trade Center gift shop during one of many visits when she played tour guide to family from out of town. She was the hostess with the most-est.

More recently this has a double meaning to me due to my loving husband’s negative definition of it towards my son and me. [He’s such a joker.] This could symbolize both the cruise-loving nature of my mom but also a sign of being grounded—possibly burdened which she was in the later years of her life due to breast cancer. Despite the hardship, she became the ideal mentor, rock and soundboard for others who became diagnosed with cancer.

Mom was certainly a guiding force in our family. She was so very knowledgeable about every topic you can think of. And if she wasn’t, she would research it. She made sure we always ate healthy, attended mass every Sunday and pushed ourselves to use our potential.

Double-sided Heart with Rubies & Emeralds
One of two and she said they are for Lyn (my sister) and me. I personally think she needed to fill two spots. And she loved shopping in multiples!

Four—now five—meanings: Rizalyn, Rolando, Rembon (her maiden name), Resuma and Rafael, her first-born apo (grandson).

She love watching shows especially ice-skating and dance performances. Mom was a huge supporter of Folklorico Filipino Dance Company of New York in their heyday. When I was either 12 or 13, I remember them performing at what was then Jersey City State College [now New Jersey City University]. She hosted an after party at our home with a buffet galore. She encouraged me to join when I was in college and I performed with the troupe one season. That year we danced on stage at Lincoln Center which was such a proud moment for her.

Statue of Liberty 1g Gold Bar
From a coin shop in Rockefeller Center. Another gift from dad. Listen to your mom. When she says to buy gold. Buy gold. It was $300/oz. back then. Today it’s over $1,600/oz.

This is possibly from her travels. She was able to go to Amsterdam during a European tour with girlfriends before acquiring “anchors” — BH & BK (before husband and before kids).

For Christine & Conchita

Second double-sided Heart with Rubies & Emeralds
OK, I see now how symmetrical the bracelet is with both of them.

Cap with Three Stars
Estate jewelry from Seymour

Four Leaf Clover
I want to say this is from Avon. She bought a lot from Avon.

Barbados Island
Pretty sure this was a gift from another UN co-worker too. She would have loved traveling here. It’s on my bucket list.

Inspired by mom’s lucky bracelet, I have some charms up my sleeve myself—pun intended. All are available @ my Etsy shop. ♥