Butterfly Necklace

“Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.” – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hand-me-downs/

If you knew my relationship with my grandmother, you would’ve said that I hated her because of how I spoke about her and how I talk to her. The fact that she was a stubborn person who grew up in a matriachal family and had a strong personality makes me realize that somehow I am a bit like her in these aspects, not the matriarch bit but you get my point that she was a strong woman who wants what she wants and knows how to handle things.

So here’s the story.

One person on my list of people who I wasn’t fond of was my grandmother, we constantly had shouting matches about my brothers, I used to walk out on her while she’s talking and the fact that she was close to blind gave me the chance to make faces while she scolds me about being a “malditang magaslaw na babae” (naughty, can’t stay in one position girl). We didn’t have time to like each other by the time I turned thirteen. My grandmother died a few years ago, she’s my father’s mother.

One day, I was trying to find another necklace to wear because I was going out with my mom and I was tired of wearing my old drop pendant necklace every time I go out of my house, as I was rummaging through my necklace box, I saw a butterfly necklace and took it and placed it around my neck remembering the time I had a brief obssession with butterflies when I was a kid.

My mom and I were eating ice cream when I touched the the necklace and realized that it was my grandmother’s.

I told my mom, “Ma, I’m wearing Mamay’s necklace.” I glanced down at the shiny butterfly and smiled a little to myself, wondering how it got in my box when I didn’t remember getting any of her jewelry because I thought I looked like an old lady when I wear them.

“Really?” she looked at the necklace.

“I gave her this. I didn’t know you had it.” she told me.

“Yeah, I didn’t know I had it. I was kind of surprised that I had it in my box at home.”

“Ooooh, maybe she put it there?” she chuckled, trying to scare me.

“Yeah right. This is the one from your Australia trip right?” I asked her, she used to travel so much becasue of her old job with a pharmaceutical company.

“Nope, I got cross pendants in Australia, that’s the one from my Florence trip.” she said poiting to my neck.

“Oh.” I said and carried on eating my ice cream.

“She was a strong woman, your Mamay. We may have gotten into fights when she was alive but she did teach me a thing or two about raising you kids. She kind of reminds me of you.” she smirked at me knowing that i wasn’t very fond of my grandmother.

“I am not that frigid and strict!” I cringed.

“You aren’t those, but you are a strong and independent young lady and I think she kind of rubbed off on you.” she smiled brightly at me.

I never thought of my grandmother as that kind of person but as I was eating with my mom, I thought about the good times that I had with Mamay, because we did have good times. She used to love to give me girly clothes as presents for birthdays hoping that I would turn into that kind of girl who liked clothes and make-up but it turns out I didn’t so I had fun pissing her off when I go out dressed in a tshirt and jeans combo when I go with her to her doctor’s appointments and what not.

Right now, I realize that I have been wearing that butterly necklace more frequently when going out and I kind of always smile to myself when I remember that it belonged to my grandmother.


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