Thursday, January 19, 2017

Treasure Hunts Me

 I met Bridget one time on this side of heaven. It was the summer of 1997. She was a Diva for sure---FaBuLoUs yet completely down to earth. I remember standing together, talking outside her parents' Branson hotel while she smoked and smoked. In that moment I mentioned how gorgeous her wedding ring was, and she launched into this story about hiding her real big fat diamond from court collectors. I liked her immediately.

It seems like an ordinary enough that might even be forgettable (especially with my funky memory)...except that we were talking about sparkly diamonds, the human side of bankruptcy and I was there on my honeymoon.

I met Bridgette because her mom was friends with my mom.
For my wedding, Bridgette and her parents (Rhonda & Chet) gave me and Cody a gift certificate for a free stay at their hotel. We finally used the certificate and took our "honeymoon" when Chloe was several months old. I remember driving into Branson (Cody's childhood vacation grounds---the place of our first vacation together in 1994) and stopping to eat at Ruby Tuesdays, sharing a gigantic frozen margarita with a plastic goldfish in it. We then went straight to the hotel to sleep for a few days. We ended up leaving Branson early because both of us missed being away from our girl (the reason we were sleep deprived) so much.

Bridgett's mom Rhonda, is also a FaBuLoUs human. She and my mom took a road trip together in 1994 where Rhonda got my (then 42 year old) straight-laced mother to pose for a photo with some random "hot cowboy" at a gas station---she even gave Mom her lit cigarette to complete the rebellious look. It really is an epic photo; one of my favorites. Apparently they got into all kinds of shenanigans during that road trip which included seeing a Branson Wayne Newton....

In 1996 Rhonda threw me a fancy wedding shower at the Rolling Hills Country Club. A few of my friends and all three of my grandmothers dressed up for that shower. We ate a meal and ate delicious cake with Navy frosting detail that thoughtfully matched my wedding colors. It was a generous thing to do for me, the broke girl who changed my white wedding date a few zillion times that summer. Somehow Rhonda knew I would want to remember having a fancy wedding shower...and a honeymoon trip.

Last night I stood over a box of Bridgette's jewelry, disentangling chains and earrings and rings because she is not here to do it herself. I grew sad as I handled her things, and I considered her short life and her mom Rhonda. What must it be like to bury your husband and your only child within months of each other? I will continue to ask myself why this treasure made its way to me---and what I am supposed to do with it. I believe I've already received three more treasures from Bridgette: Don't worry so much about your weight, Remember me, and Remember/Pray for my mom.

I read a quote by the Dali Lama yesterday: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." I am sure Bridgette and Rhonda are not saints (we have mutual friends ;)) yet I will always remember the FaBuLoUsNeSs, the human kindness they both continue to extend to me in this lifetime. These are a few of the beautiful things I will wear in Bridgette's honor. I will enjoy re-working and bringing new life to some of the other pieces.
Coral and jade rose pin. Carved moon faces in sterling.

These are my favorite things from the box. Gray button pearls and a gold starfish pin. The 1970's silver-plated shell locket has glace Aliage (a Chypre parfum) in it--- I am wearing both the scent (a tiny bit goes a long way) and the locket today. The gold dolphin earrings have the most amazingly pretty/realistic swing action in motion when on the ear. The Ammonite...well, we all know my favorite poem by now...I intend to set in silver. 

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