It was a strange twist of fate that caused my mom to flush the toilet the very moment I was clasping my silver half-heart Best Friends bracelet on my wrist. We were at Grandma Novosel’s house. I was in maybe the 3rd or 4th grade, and we were headed to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Patty’s house where I would see my cousin, owner of the other half of the heart, Jessie. Mom and I were getting ready together in Grandma’s bathroom. As I fiddled with the bracelet clasp and she flushed, my bracelet slipped and was gone forever.
I’d never cried so hard in my young life, not even when Mufasa died. I wailed all the way to Jessie’s house. Would she be mad? Hurt? How would I ever replace something that probably cost $7 at Claire’s and could be found at every mall in America?! Of course, that wasn’t the point. Another would be just that, a replacement. The lost bracelet is the one that held meaning. The one she and I broke apart, of which she wore the other half. Without the lost bracelet, I was lost.
Despite the accessory tragedy, and her move to South Carolina that followed, our friendship survived. When I had my tonsils out in the 6th grade and couldn’t go to school I went to stay with her. After a bad break-up in college, I ran away to her house to get some “perspective.” A couple of years ago, I was Maid of Honor in her wedding.
The difference between sentiment and being sentimental is the following: Sentiment is when a driver swerves out of the way to avoid hitting a rabbit on the road. Being sentimental is when the same driver, when swerving away from the rabbit, hits a pedestrian. -Frank Herbert
I’m still a sentimental person. I apply meaning and memories to the most random of items. But in the end, I always remember that they’re still items. The sweater I lost in a move, probably to a roommate? Sure, it reminded me of that trip to L.A. But it’s still just a sweater. Won’t I remember the trip anyway? The opposite works too. You can burn letters, tear up pictures, move away to a new place, but the memories that matter will remain. For better or for worse, with or without the charm, the worthwhile experiences you have and the people you love(d) will always live within the person you’ve become.