The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Of jewelry, and ancestry

Last week, I bought my first piece of jewelry. Why does this matter? For most of us, jewelry doesn’t. And in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t. A shiny piece of rock, a  glint of metal that catches the eye, and sometimes even brings you more trouble than its worth. Jewelry is affectation, meant to show success or just an affinity for things that are pretty.

My lola (my dad’s mom), loved jewelry. I remember growing up and going to her house 3 hours away on weekends to stay the night, and being asked to go into her room, and walking out with a ring, or necklace or a matching whole set. She liked the shiny of diamonds, and collected a lot, and us being her only immediate grandchildren, and only two girls, we were the ones who received them.

I am not saying in any way that we are wealthy. She was comfortable with her small businesses and didn’t like to spend on most anything really. She hated travelling. She wasn’t one to spend on food. She never liked shopping because it meant a trip to Manila, and was not a fan of being away from her home too long. She did like her trinkets. I remember not being impressed with diamonds and other rocks because I saw her a lot of times with a lot, wearing them to bed, and stretching out her lobes so much she needed surgery to fix them. (Ladies, this is probably sounding graphic, but it was true, so please, don’t sleep with your earrings on, or have to have your earlobes sewn back together because they’re so stretched out).

So I guess this is mostly a story of my lola, who had her birthday on April 2nd, and I’m hoping nodding with approval up there when I picked up the eternity band and never put it back down. It is now sitting on my right ring finger, a little bit too shiny for my old fading shirt and ripped shorts sitting near a pond full of tilapia, but just too pretty to say no to.
So hello Lola. I hope this Easter you and Ninong bonded over coffee and pandesal, and watching over us, a little extra shiny now.


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