On my wedding day, my mother-in-love gave me a gold bracelet she wore on her wedding day. So, after the vows wowed and the dances pranced, my wrist was newly adorned with an embrace from my husband’s heritage: India. My husband was born in Illinois, but his parents emigrated to the USA from India in the 1970’s. Thus, my gold bangle is quintessentially Indian. I tend to wear it on particular days when I want to be reminded of the legacy I have been woven into; and the power of that momentum.
This summer, my sister’s mother-in-love came to visit from Jordan for the first time. Having lived in the Middle East for three years, I am familiar with the practice of brides adorned in gold jewelry for their weddings as well as the general practice of investing one’s money into gold jewelry. A Palestinian friend once told me that among his circles of friends, it was common to spend 2,000-3,000 USD in gold jewelry for one’s fiancee and the women in her family. So, I know the Hallmark-card-turned-gold-bracelet sentiments that are so precious in that region.
Therefore, when my sister’s mother-in-love, in a demonstration of spontaneous love and lavishness, took off one of her gold bracelets and gave it to me over dinner in San Francisco, I was deeply moved. Tears crawled to my eyes. Then, in the quick cadence of love, she took another one off and extended it to my husband, saying in Arabic, “This is for your mom. I haven’t met her, but I know the goodness of your heart and so, it is as if I have met her too.”
My husband was awed and grateful. That exchange of kindness opened our hearts even more to each other. It was incredible. And now, I have these two gold bracelets, which immediately became best bracelet buds upon meeting on my jewelry tree. I can wear them together, which is profound because the two regions my husband and I are most passionate about are India and the Middle East.
I love travel. Often it is me going to travel; this time, travel came to me.