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Creating Memories

By Jane Bokun

Just before my mother died, a sympathetic nurse came to my sister and I. She said she had taken my mom’s heartbeat off the monitor on the sly. She slipped it to my sister who put it in her purse.

“I want to make sure you have this memory of your mom,” she said. “Hopefully, you can make a tattoo out of it.”

Tattoo? We are sadly not tattoo kind of women. We were afraid with our extra layers of fat, the heartbeat might look like it’s flat lining. We took the small printed heartbeat to James & Sons in Indiana, and had it made into a necklace which is depicted by my niece above. It’s both modern and classic.

According to jewelers at James & Sons, people have lots of ways to memorialize a loved one. They make name and date bracelets, clocks, rings and more. They plant trees, preserve videos, and save voicemails in an effort to preserve their loved ones.

“This is the first time we’ve seen a heartbeat,” they said.

“Feel free to use the idea,” I say.

Whenever I put my heartbeat necklace on, I do feel a little closer to my mother. I even talk to her out loud when I’m wearing the necklace. Memorial jewelry can be done in plated or actual gold and starts at about $60. To me, it’s been a poignant reminder and a major comfort in the death of my mother.

I reached out to Tiffany & Co. (yes, THE Tiffany’s) to find out the baby blue iconic, upscale jewelers’ take on remembrances of loved ones.

“One person told me she mimicked the handwriting of her best friend who had passed away,” one employee told me. “She decided to put her friend’s words on a bracelet that would remind her of their close relationship at any time. The unique handwriting on the bracelet was a comfort to her.”

“People also include pictures of their loved ones on bracelets, rings, necklaces and just about anything,” she said. The way they do it is to engrave loved ones’ faces, or an image that best describes the loved one.

For some the idea of shopping at Tiffany’s, or even having breakfast there (giggle), can be a pricey idea.

“The best way to describe Tiffany & Co. is that it’s a company that has something special for everyone,” said the Tiffany employee.

Indeed, Tiffany & Co. began selling jewelry in 1837 and remains at the forefront of innovative jewelry. It’s been numero uno in the hearts of people everywhere since it began with its own (my favorite color, robins egg, baby blue) unique color scheme, and even a movie, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” centered around it. According to its website, Tiffany & Co. has long been renowned for its luxury goods, especially jewelry, and has sought to market itself as an arbiter of taste and style. Tiffany designs, manufactures, and sells jewelry, watches, and crystal glassware. It also sells other timepieces, sterling silverware, china, stationery, fragrances, and accessories.

That tact of excellence in fine goods has worked. Because it’s been in the news so often and is so coveted, many people love the brand.

Agreed, the Tiffany employee reiterated.

“Our price point is due to our craftsmanship,” she said. “We do pride ourselves in the material we use and the sources where we’re receiving them.”

For my son, as I get on to my later years, you don’t even have to get the Tiffany jewelry for me. Just get the lovely blue box and I’ll be happy. #mothersguilt.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the Tiffany blue makes me happy. The color can even be found in eyeglass frames. We all love it. In the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Audrey Hepburn likes to say, “happy girls are prettier.”

If you’ve got a great idea for a memorial to a loved one, I’d like to hear about it. Please respond to this post or email me at janepospybokun@gmail.com.

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Death and the kind of peace no one expects…

By Jane Bokun

Lately, it seems like my eyes are twitching, I constantly have colon problems and I’m waiting for my disastrous disease diagnosis.

Like many of us over-50s, my mom, who I wrote about earlier, passed away and what one woman told me is true, “even when you wait all night for death to come to your family, it’s still a shock.” I prayed it would come because she was immobile and in pain, but it was still a huge void.

It is indeed, a shock that my father, her husband of 65 years, can’t handle. How do handle the death of the person who drove you the craziest, that you swore you’d never see again and now, will REALLY never see again? My mother was as cold as ice and belittled me as often as she could. I thought when she died all that would be gone. A whole, new me with no negativity. I was wrong. I visit her grave site and can’t even remember what I hated about her. To the rescue, Philippians 4:7 from the actual Bible. Every time I want to kill someone, or myself, or grieve the death of the person who let me down most, this is the prayer I recommend. I pray for the “peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding: ”

It’s a small prayer, but it does the job for anxiety. It wasn’t my fault that she was a bad mom and didn’t care. She really didn’t. I once had back surgery which required fusing three broken bones in my back with the possibility of paralysis, and she never came.

“Wah,” “wah,” none of that matters now. She’s gone and at peace, and I can only pray for it. But, I think God knew things like this could happen. Bad relationships that are mind-numbingly hard, with pain that never goes away, need some real, hands-on help.

PHILIPPIANS 4:7

So, God provided a little non-narcotic peace that you don’t have to hide. It’s the kind of peace you think is impossible, but actually happens. By the way, I was hooked by that definition, peace that surpasses whatever is going on in your life: death, taxes, break-ups, self-doubt and much, much more. It’s so modern, yet comes from such an old source.

During this late over-50 season, I recommend using it. A lot.