My bracelets, My BUD

January 28, 2024 By Missy
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I can remember the last time I took my Dad Christmas shopping. He was not feeling well, at all, but he begged me to take him to a big mall in Columbus – Easton. He wanted to make sure he got a jewelry gift for Sarah and I (a tradition,) so he asked me to take him to Macys and pick out something Sarah and I would like. He also mostly just wanted to get out of the house. He was so tired from dialysis – he fell asleep at the jewelry counter in his wheelchair. I showed him a bracelet and earrings for Sarah and I – pearl and 14k gold – a favorite of my moms. He approved.

My dad always gifted us jewelry, for as long as I can remember. My dad was sick for as long as I can remember. I was in eighth grade, setting aside every jewelry gift I ever received from my Dad; knowing I wouldn’t have him around for a large portion of my life. Luckily,  he defied odds, doctors, and really just the basics of biology to allow my sentimental heart many years of jewelry.

The pearl bracelet is bittersweet. I wish I could only remember the happy parts of the last few Christmases with my Dad, but I also think of the hard times – seeing him so sick. Being exhausted balancing work and caretaking. Feeling truly hopeless and alone, even when surrounded by people. 

The bracelet reminds me of him – the sweet and the hard parts – but it also reminds me of the strength it took to get through that time. Now I stack it with a bracelet that reminds me of the happy nickname my dad gave all of us siblings (and in-laws and even Rebecca.) Bud – that’s what he called us all. Partly term of endearment and partly the fact that it was easy to say and remember. The thing is my dad was my bud. I miss talking to him. He didn’t have this bracelet made for me but Sarah and I had it made. This is actually my second iteration. The first, a charm bracelet, I wore everyday for years until it fell off somewhere in Rome. I cried for hours. So now I have this new version I love, with a nickname I love, reminding me of my bud who I miss everyday. 

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