Olivia's Charm Bracelet
"My mother, who came to NYC from Cuba when she was 16 (in the 70s), was given an 18k gold chunky cuban link bracelet with all kinds of glorious 70s charms by a very close family friend who worked in a jewelry store in NYC. I coveted this bracelet as a teenager and asked my mother to borrow it all the time. Finally, she gave it to me when I was in my mid-late 20s. I wore it so much, but then one day, I lost it. I was devastated. I couldn't bring myself to tell my mom until a couple of years later when she happened to ask about it. When I told her tearfully that I had sought it out everywhere to no avail, she calmly said that "whoever found it needed it more than [I] did". When I turned 29, she gave me my own bracelet (pictured here) to replace it. She sold off a dated piece of gold jewelry that was my grandmother's to buy it, and she gave it to me with the "29" charm soldered on. For her, 29 is the age where you have experienced enough to know something about life, but still have a lot of life left to live. 29 was an important year for her, and to this day she turns 29 on her birthday every year (LOL). The cancer charm on this bracelet was the only charm remaining from my mom's original bracelet - she and I are both Scorpios, so it never really fit the bill and it was removed from the bracelet years earlier and stored away. The family friend that gave it to her must have confused the crab for a scorpion. In any case, I had it attached to my new bracelet to honor the original bracelet. Over the next couple of birthdays, she gave me the shoe (I love to shop) and the owl (they remind me of my dad). We had emeralds inserted for eyes (my mom has green eyes) so that it could represent a combination of my parents. A few years ago, my husband was cleaning out the car, and found my mom's bracelet wedged within the spare tire compartment of the trunk. I was naturally overjoyed, and took it as a sign to get it cleaned and fixed (the clasp was loose), and to finally fill out my own bracelet. That's when I came to you! It was then that we added my Nefertiti, and I purchased the two college charms (for my undergrad and grad schools), the evil eye (like many cultures, latinos are superstitious), and the figa (our family is believed to be of Italian descent way way back and, well, girl power!) from you."