September 27, 2011

it's my cross to wear

Do you have a treasured gift? I was laying in the bed the other night, feeling a bit uncomfortable because the chain of my gold cross had twisted a bit around my neck. That's when it struck me there was a story lurking about this particular cross because of special feelings I feel every time I take that little gold symbol of my faith between my fingers or look at it hanging on my neck. It's as if get to carry the gift of the person who gave me it with me always.

I wish I could have taken a clear picture of my cross but my camera wouldn't cooperate. I did find a picture of me at my surprise fiftieth birthday party given by my brother Gerard and sister in law Denise and I'm wearing it.

How did I get it you ask? Here's the story...My mother was an only child whose mother died in childbirth. Back in the day fathers didn't raise daughters they were usually taken in by female relative and that's what happened in my mothers case. My birth grandmothers sister, Winifred took in my mother and raised her as her own along with her other children, an older son and two pre-teen age daughters. I found this great picture of my Nana who raised Mom with me as a baby in her apartment on Lexington Ave in NYC.

Nana and me

Mom had a good life and she came to have a great affection  for her sister Marion's husband Joe Pecci (not the actor!)  When I was born, Mom and my Dad chose him and my Dad's eldest sister Frances to be my Godparents. This is such a huge role for Catholic families, they guide us in our faith formation and are our role models. The role and connection of the godparent - godchild doesn't end in childhood either. I had very good relationships with my godparents and as they aged the caring they showed me as a child was gladly returned to them.

Uncle Joey my godfather and I dancing at Gerard &
Denise's Wedding

For my First Holy Communion Uncle Joey gave me a gold cross. I was seven at the time and I've worn this cross for the better part of forty five years.Oh, I take it off now and again, like when I go on vacation or to the beach or in the pool. I'd be crushed if I lost it, truly I would. I've had it for such a long time. I wish I had a picture of myself in my Communion dress but I can't seem to locate one and it's doubtful you'd see the cross since it's so small anyway. I imagine Uncle Joey smiling down from heaven knowing how I still cherish it with all my heart. He was such an adorable man, very Italian and very loving.

Aunt Fances and I having a visit.
Charlie & Cosmo.
My parents chose well, and although I was closer to my godmother Frances during her life time, my Uncle and I shared a warm and loving affection until the day he died.

By the way my godmother gave me a ring, but that's another story!

Do you have a treasured gift? What memories does your gift evoke?

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  1. Love this story ;) They seemed like amazing people through and through!
    My first mothers day I did not want to celebrate. I was in throes of postpartum depression. I thought I was a horrible mom and did not deserve to be celebrated.
    On that day my husband gave me a gift. It was a ring with diamonds and a piece of coral that came from Hawaii. (he bought it from a jeweler in Hawaii)
    My husband said "I want you to remember Hawaii when you look at this ring. You always say you were the happiest on our honeymoon. Remember that we are going to fight to get that woman back again." it's a symbol of love, and happiness.
    I cherish it with all my heart.

  2. That's a beautiful story Kimberly. I think those of us who have had difficult emotional times see those times when things were "happy and carefree" with different eyes.

    Plus I think we just might be two big saps huh?

  3. Being a Hoarder by nature, I have tons of treasured gifts from my childhood. I'm trying to get away from hoarding, just so you know.
    Anyway, I love your story and I hope that my Claire holds on to her First Holy Communion necklace as long as you have.

  4. I hope so too Mark.
    I think it's important that the kids have those special symbols of either faith- family or both given to them by their loved ones.

    Hoarder huh? My husband has that tendency too! Me I like stuff but I'm probably way to neat to be a hoarder!

  5. I do have some special jewelry and I did write a post about one in particular awhile back.
    Love hearing stories about those special someones and the items we hold dear because of them.

  6. Aww.. this was such an amazing read. And the pic of the wedding dance is so cute. You look amazing !

  7. Thanks I loved them and you right; that dress was great. And the picture...I was twenty years younger and many many pounds lighter then!

  8. How beautiful. How rare to still have such a treasured gift from so long ago. When I was 19, my sister gave me a gold cross that I still have, but don't wear very much. I need to put it back on.


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