J O R D Y  M U R R A Y

Founder, Friends of Form

T H E  O B J E C T:

a diamond and gold tennis bracelet inherited from my grandmother

Q: Can you describe a sentimental object in your home with a special place in your heart? What memories or emotions does it evoke when you look at or interact with it? How has this object influenced your sense of identity and belonging?

A: The bracelet was gifted to me by the family after my grandmother passed away earlier this year. Despite my memories of her primarily as a grandmother, I've come to appreciate her differently through this piece of jewelry.

While she was alive, I always saw her as an elderly figure. However, looking at photos, hearing stories, and seeing video clips of her wearing this bracelet during her younger days has deeply connected me to her. It's as if I've discovered a new facet of her identity that I hadn't fully recognized before. Her sense of style, her beauty, and the elegance she exuded become vividly apparent through this bracelet, bridging me to a different era of her life. The bracelet has become a tangible link to my grandmother, evoking both nostalgia and admiration for the woman she was in her youth.

When I wear the bracelet, I feel classic, timeless, and put-together, even if I'm just wearing a vintage T-shirt and jeans. This feeling shapes the way I engage with the world, impacting the quality of my days and interactions.

In essence, my grandma's bracelet has become more than just a piece of jewelry; it's a vessel for memories, emotions, and a stronger sense of identity. It's a symbol of the enduring bonds that transcend time and generations, reminding me of where I come from.

Q: Sentimental objects often bridge the gap between the past and the present. Could you share a story about how a particular object became so meaningful to you? Has its significance evolved, and if so, how has it adapted to the changing chapters of your life?

A: The bracelet holds a special place because it was a gift from my grandfather to my grandmother. He gave it to her for their first or second anniversary. Remarkably, by the time she passed away, they had been together for 70 years. As a family, we don't place a high value on material possessions, and we lack a collection of heirlooms to pass down. This object, however, feels like a tangible piece of our family's history, a representation of their life and journey together. They immigrated from Ukraine to the United States, and my generation was born here. This object links us to a larger heritage, connecting us to our roots.

What strikes me is that when my grandparents came together, they didn't have many material possessions. Their journey involved a boat trip from Ukraine to Canada. In contrast, the bracelet, adorned with diamonds and gold, symbolizes something beyond material wealth. It represents their commitment and enduring love. It is a reminder that true value extends far beyond material possessions.

Q: The sentimental value of an object is often intertwined with the people who are part of its narrative. Could you recount an instance where a sentimental object became a source of connection or shared history among family members or friends? How does the presence of this object enhance the sense of kinship and emotional bonds within your home?

A: The value of this object to my family is quite intriguing. There was a time, years ago, when my mom frequently wore this bracelet. It wasn't something given to her officially, but my mom had the privilege to borrow and wear it on special occasions. So, growing up, the bracelet would appear and disappear from my life. Strangely, it wasn't an object of desire for me. I generally lean towards more garish or unique items. Nevertheless, the fact that this bracelet has stood the test of time and been a part of my life even before my conscious awareness of it holds immense significance now.

I'm not the neatest person when it comes to arranging my belongings, and I didn't have a substantial collection of everyday jewelry. However, introducing this bracelet into my home made me realize its importance. It deserved a proper place to rest when I'm not wearing it. This led me to organize and allocate space specifically for jewelry. The way I interact with that area has transformed. It's now dedicated to holding special pieces and cherished mementos, including souvenirs from trips. I prefer not to keep my favorite things hidden away in boxes. It's not just about their aesthetics; it's the connection they hold.

The bracelet, with its history of being shared and worn by different family members on special occasions, has become more than an ornament. It's a testament to the emotional connections within our family. Its presence enriches our home by physically reminding us of our shared history and by inspiring me to create meaningful, organized spaces for items that hold sentimental value.


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