Monday, August 9, 2010
The Day I Sold my Gold ...
When I was 15 years old I sold all my gold jewelry and bought myself a pair of boots with the money. The boots were worn and eventually worn out, and I later regretted having sold the jewelry of my baptism, first communion and gifts from my grandparents. I wished I had kept them to give to my own children. I vowed never again to sell my gold, unless I found myself in dire straits.
Time went by and 30 years later I found myself in dire straits – a single mom with two young children and little or no income, as my profession as a writer and a translator hit the wall when the recession hit the country and then – the world. At 45, I again sold all my gold jewelry, but this time, to pay the rent, buy groceries and pay bills.
I felt a little of my heart go with each piece of jewelry that my grandmother had given me, every gift my sister had presented me with, the huge ring my grandfather was wearing the day he died, the medallions my girls were gifted when they were born, my wedding ring and so much more. Each piece meant something – held a memory, a bit of my past which I had hoped to pass on to my girls someday.
I bled a little when I walked out of the store with the check and minus the gold. The only piece I kept – and still have, but don´t wear – is a fine gold ring with a red garnet surrounded by pink diamonds, which belonged to my Spanish great-great grandmother. A family heirloom.
My grandmother who is now 93 always said that she wanted to give her gold away to her grandkids while she was alive and not on her deathbed. That´s how I was able to tell her what I had to do with her beautiful and expensive diamond rings and hefty 18-karat earrings. My grandmother told me not to worry, that memories are in your heart and not attached to objects. In fact, she´s sold most of what she had left too.
I no longer wear gold. After having lost everything material, I learned that in fact I had it all: health, great kids, good friends and family, strength, resiliency and determination. And faith that things would get better … It wasn´t easy, it still isn´t all the time, it may never be … but, a year and a half later, it´s certainly a lot better.