When my daughter Shannon began chemotherapy, she started a bracelet of beads to commemorate each treatment in her journey. These are not the simple token dangles I remember as ‘charms’. These are objects d art and each bauble is rich in meaning. She had 12 treatments, and selected the right beads carefully. After one of the sessions, she showed me the bracelet’s work in progress. I admit to being charmed myself. It was a thing of beauty, but this is not a picture of it.
At Christmas time, Shannon presented me with my own ‘starter’ bracelet. She included a sparkly pink gem that would brighten even the gloomiest of days. There’s also a heart with the word “MOM” engraved on it. I could not believe my eyes when the dazzle of iridescence got my attention. That was one of her original beads. You could say they all actually had the word ‘MOM’ engraved on them. Being the Mom, I can read words that others might not see.
It has taken, ironically, nine months to travel from the day she was diagnosed, to being declared in remission, to having the portal for chemotherapy removed at last. Being pregnant with her for nine months was much easier. I have been through birth with her, and I have been thru re-birth with her. Both of these life events, and the thoughts and feelings that weave their way throughout, cannot be captured simply with words. Every heart and soul has a depth that has no vocabulary. All people smile in the same language, but there is no dictionary anywhere with a word for that.
And so we sometimes have to use symbols to communicate a meaning to others. My bracelet is one such symbol. Each charm will signify a time I spent with my daughter during this journey. The bracelet in the photo is mine. It celebrates life.