Being Boswell

Going Through Mom’s Jewelry

I am re-posting this piece because I have heard from some of you it was not sent to  you last week. So sorry, the bugs are still being worked out…

Mom was moved to an assisted living facility last year because her dementia was worsening and her ability to be pleasant to live in help was non existent. I am in the process of selling our family home. In doing so my brother and I are dividing the family treasures. I am going through her jewelry.

I remember, sitting on moms bed as a young girl, watching her get ready to go out with my dad, putting on dresses that are now back in style, admiring her sartorial chicness. I would dream of being old enough to dress up…and stay out late.

As she accessorized she would tell me, “Someday this will be yours,” pointing to her mother’s diamond ring, or holding up the string of pearls she brought back from Japan while my she and my dad were stationed there. I couldn’t wait.

Now they are mine. It is a bittersweet acquisition.

As I don the pink and white, three tiered, strand of beads, that are so retro today, I feel IMG_0886as young as my mom was when she worn them in the early 60’s. When I slip on the large gold signet ring my uncle left to her, I feel the weighty presence of the family legacy. As I admire the diamond sets from my grandmother, too small for any of my fingers, I wonder if I should have them reset into something contemporary, hesitant to disturb their antiquity but sad to leave them sitting in a drawer.

My uncle, a Col. in the Army, traveled all over the world. He returned home for visits gifting me with a doll from the foreign lands he visited. I looked forward to his visits and the dolls. When I reached adolescence, he switched it up. He started a gold charm bracelet for me, so instead of dolls he brought me charms from his travels. As a discerning 12 year old I wondered what in the world was he thinking? The bracelet was designed with heavy links of solid 14 carat gold, not suited to my young wrist or adolescent sense of style.  Besides, I had no place to wear it.

Mom decided it suited her wrist and her taste, so she began to wear it on her dressed up evenings out. Even though I wasn’t consulted, I was willing to share, my silent generosity making me feel older. After wearing the bracelet several times she complained that one particular charm, a large sword fish, a token of my uncle’s catch on a deep sea fishing trip…glad he opted for a charm instead of stuffing and mounting the poor thing, was poking her with it’s nose…sword.

Her solution? She took it to the jewelers and had the nose cut off. (Her maxim, if it pokes you, cut it off…imagine how my dad felt.) I couldn’t, and still can’t, believe she did that. In todays market that nose is worth a small fortune.

Each time I wear the bracelet, resplendent with it’s swordless fish charm, appreciative of my uncles foresight in choosing a bracelet with my 55 year old wrist in mind, instead of my 12 year old wrist, I remember the argument my mom and I had when I discovered the maimed fish. I was appalled. I felt sorry for the butchered fish and became it’s advocate, ever so slightly too late, telling my mom she had no right. Mom didn’t see it that way.

All of this comes back to me as I unpack her jewelry boxes. I feel heart wrenched and soothed, both feelings jumbled together, like a mishmash of tangled necklaces, difficult to separate but doable with enough time and patience.

For my birthday this year, my husband gave me a rich, blue leather jewelry box. It is IMG_0885spectacular with it’s drawers, ring holders and travel jewelry box tucked within. I feel like a grown up each time I open it. He said I needed a special place to store my families treasures.

My mom’s story has a new home.

Patricia Boswell

Doll Making

Recently I lead a workshop I designed 15 years ago, A Woman’s Way of Knowing-the making of your intuitive doll. This is, and has been each time I have offered it, a magical day. In the course of the day we examine the inner voices that hold us back from our true nature and our intuition. These voices may sound caring and concerned for our well being . “Don’t trust others or you will get hurt.” “Be careful.” “Be good.” “Don’t get too excited…angry….sad.” Or they may be critical voices. We may call ourselves stupid, lazy, or worthless. If we put these voices on audio they may sound like, “Who do you think you are?” or “You can never do that!” “What is wrong with you?” Any of these sound familiar? Sadly, to often they do.

In the process of the workshop we challenge these messages in a variety of ways. With new awareness and inner messages each women creates her intuitive doll.

The magic of the day for me is witnessing women reach into themselves and  find/trust their creativity. There are moments, watching participants help each other, listening to the rhythmic conversation that occurs during introspective creation, or observing a women’s face as she struggles or succeeds with what is before her, that I am moved to tears.  I think, at a cellular level, women yearn for and need  this sense of community with other women. (Unless one of those inner voices informs you not to trust women.)

I want to thank each of you that came to spend the day with me and with each other, challenging beliefs and exposing hidden wounds.  It takes courage to walk into the unknown.

Blessings to each of you.

Enjoy the pictures!!!! Thank you Kristen!

For more information go to

www.WomensTherapyPittsburgh.com

Patricia Boswell

Going Through Mom’s Jewelry

I am re-posting this piece because I have heard from some of you it was not sent to  you last week. So sorry, the bugs are still being worked out…

Mom was moved to an assisted living facility last year because her dementia was worsening and her ability to be pleasant to live in help was non existent. I am in the process of selling our family home. In doing so my brother and I are dividing the family treasures. I am going through her jewelry.

I remember, sitting on moms bed as a young girl, watching her get ready to go out with my dad, putting on dresses that are now back in style, admiring her sartorial chicness. I would dream of being old enough to dress up…and stay out late.

As she accessorized she would tell me, “Someday this will be yours,” pointing to her mother’s diamond ring, or holding up the string of pearls she brought back from Japan while my she and my dad were stationed there. I couldn’t wait.

Now they are mine. It is a bittersweet acquisition.

As I don the pink and white, three tiered, strand of beads, that are so retro today, I feel IMG_0886as young as my mom was when she worn them in the early 60’s. When I slip on the large gold signet ring my uncle left to her, I feel the weighty presence of the family legacy. As I admire the diamond sets from my grandmother, too small for any of my fingers, I wonder if I should have them reset into something contemporary, hesitant to disturb their antiquity but sad to leave them sitting in a drawer.

My uncle, a Col. in the Army, traveled all over the world. He returned home for visits gifting me with a doll from the foreign lands he visited. I looked forward to his visits and the dolls. When I reached adolescence, he switched it up. He started a gold charm bracelet for me, so instead of dolls he brought me charms from his travels. As a discerning 12 year old I wondered what in the world was he thinking? The bracelet was designed with heavy links of solid 14 carat gold, not suited to my young wrist or adolescent sense of style.  Besides, I had no place to wear it.

Mom decided it suited her wrist and her taste, so she began to wear it on her dressed up evenings out. Even though I wasn’t consulted, I was willing to share, my silent generosity making me feel older. After wearing the bracelet several times she complained that one particular charm, a large sword fish, a token of my uncle’s catch on a deep sea fishing trip…glad he opted for a charm instead of stuffing and mounting the poor thing, was poking her with it’s nose…sword.

Her solution? She took it to the jewelers and had the nose cut off. (Her maxim, if it pokes you, cut it off…imagine how my dad felt.) I couldn’t, and still can’t, believe she did that. In todays market that nose is worth a small fortune.

Each time I wear the bracelet, resplendent with it’s swordless fish charm, appreciative of my uncles foresight in choosing a bracelet with my 55 year old wrist in mind, instead of my 12 year old wrist, I remember the argument my mom and I had when I discovered the maimed fish. I was appalled. I felt sorry for the butchered fish and became it’s advocate, ever so slightly too late, telling my mom she had no right. Mom didn’t see it that way.

All of this comes back to me as I unpack her jewelry boxes. I feel heart wrenched and soothed, both feelings jumbled together, like a mishmash of tangled necklaces, difficult to separate but doable with enough time and patience.

For my birthday this year, my husband gave me a rich, blue leather jewelry box. It is IMG_0885spectacular with it’s drawers, ring holders and travel jewelry box tucked within. I feel like a grown up each time I open it. He said I needed a special place to store my families treasures.

My mom’s story has a new home.

Patricia Boswell

Doll Making

Recently I lead a workshop I designed 15 years ago, A Woman’s Way of Knowing-the making of your intuitive doll. This is, and has been each time I have offered it, a magical day. In the course of the day we examine the inner voices that hold us back from our true nature and our intuition. These voices may sound caring and concerned for our well being . “Don’t trust others or you will get hurt.” “Be careful.” “Be good.” “Don’t get too excited…angry….sad.” Or they may be critical voices. We may call ourselves stupid, lazy, or worthless. If we put these voices on audio they may sound like, “Who do you think you are?” or “You can never do that!” “What is wrong with you?” Any of these sound familiar? Sadly, to often they do.

In the process of the workshop we challenge these messages in a variety of ways. With new awareness and inner messages each women creates her intuitive doll.

The magic of the day for me is witnessing women reach into themselves and  find/trust their creativity. There are moments, watching participants help each other, listening to the rhythmic conversation that occurs during introspective creation, or observing a women’s face as she struggles or succeeds with what is before her, that I am moved to tears.  I think, at a cellular level, women yearn for and need  this sense of community with other women. (Unless one of those inner voices informs you not to trust women.)

I want to thank each of you that came to spend the day with me and with each other, challenging beliefs and exposing hidden wounds.  It takes courage to walk into the unknown.

Blessings to each of you.

Enjoy the pictures!!!! Thank you Kristen!

For more information go to

www.WomensTherapyPittsburgh.com

Patricia Boswell