The Promise of a Jewelry Box

Alexandra - Trumbull, Connecticut
Entered on February 26, 2011
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in my jewelry box. It captures my past, present, and future. Every earring, necklace, and ring tells a story about my life, my parents’ or grandparents’ lives, or the lives I will change in the future.

The day I turned fifteen when, according to Latina tradition, I reached womanhood, my mother gave me a beautiful jewelry box. She advised, “Take this and gather your jewelry together. Find those treasures you kept in the countless mismatched boxes. Now they have a home.” As I gathered that which I hold dear, I began to understand that my jewelry box would organize the significant moments of my life. With every delicate necklace, endless-circle ring, shimmering earring, world-crafted bracelet, and keeper-of-time watch in its appropriate spot, I clearly observe the panorama of my own life.

As I change and grow, my jewelry box evolves with me. Nothing can duplicate the memories in a jewelry box; I know that each person’s box of treasures symbolizes her own life and bears a different story.

The past: my delicate gold necklace links my childhood into one slender chain. Nestled in the rich red velvet, it curls around and around, reminding me of the day I graduated from preschool. On this day, I gave the angel necklace to Connie, my beloved preschool teacher. Eight years later, Connie wore the beautiful necklace to Kenya, and, the tiny hands of my sponsored orphan, Hannah, caressed the small angel hanging from the chain. When I turned twelve, Connie passed this necklace, with an angel hanging from its strand, on to me. It captures my four-year old self and the carefree, smiling face that tilted upwards to receive this important step in my life. The train of memories gathered into one necklace reminds me of what I hold dear in my life. The delicate chain made its way back to me, and to my jewelry box, signifying one of the most meaningful moments of my past.

The present: hibiscus shaped silver earrings, given to me by my dear friend, Mariel. They symbolize one of the most significant moments of my life, my own quinceañera pequeña. I imagine teasing tendrils of my hair back from my face, and catching a glimpse of the delicate pink flowers dangling glamorously from my ears. These earrings, the hallmark of turning fifteen, lie in my mahogany jewelry box; wait for other significant moments of my life.

The future: just as my mother placed her own baby bracelet around my wrist at my christening, I in turn will bestow this keepsake on the little one in my future. For now, this golden sphere heirloom symbolizes my future love and reminds me that I belong to a family rich in history and stories. Along with this bracelet, I will also pass down my endless-circle rings and delicate necklaces as I entrust our family’s legacy to my someday children and one-day grandchildren.

I believe in the beloved memories, sustaining powers, and hopeful dreams of my jewelry box. My jewelry box will always offer me reminiscence, solace, and promise. I will always add to it, and, just as I will receive more keepsakes to mark a milestone, I grow ever-ready to seek and embrace the future. I believe in my multi-perspective red wood colored jewelry box; my memoir, my now, and my world to come. This box strengthens me and gives me confidence. I believe that an object so simple, an object like my jewelry box sanctuary can affect my life in a way unlike anything else.

I represent my jewelry box; I open my arms, welcoming each memory, each lesson, each moment. Beckoning each new day, my mahogany jewelry box greets the dawn.