Keepsakes

“Dad, do you have any keepsakes from Grandpa and Grandma?

“Travis, what do you mean by keepsakes.”

“You know small items that you kept in their memory.”

“Yup, every day I touch two keepsakes in their memory.

Two cherished reminders of the love they gave me. Trav, take a guess at what they are?”

Travis scratched his head and replied, “Sorry Dad, I give up.”

“Well one is your grandma’s key chain and the other is this watch that they bought me for my bar mitzvah.”

Pulling my keys out of my pocket, I flashed the key chain before Travis’ eyes.  “Twenty-two years ago, I inherited Grandma’s car and her key chain. The car is long gone but here’s her tarnished key chain. It’s still holding my keys together.

Every day, I unconsciously rub this key fob between my thumb and index finger, like worry beads. But instead of worrying,  I picture my mom holding this key chain.

I doubt that grandma ever thought that every day when her son leaves his house he would hold her brown, aged leather key chain. See it’s key fob with her initial in gold, the capital letter “H” for Henia. I doubt Grandma ever pictured me discarding my UM key chain. But this fob is my personal statement of my maternal love.

Pointing at my wrist Travis asked, “Dad, what about the watch?”

“Well, in 1962, Grandpa and Grandma were traveling back from Israel and they stopped in Switzerland. They needed to buy me a bar mitzvah gift; Grandpa had a thing for quality time pieces. So in an Omega store, they bought me this watch. In that shop, I can hear them saying:

He is only 13, will he appreciate this gift?

Will he take good care of it?

Will he ever understand the importance of time?”

Well, I doubt  my parents knew that 58 years later, I’d be winding this watch on a daily basis. Rubbing my thumb and index finger against the watch’s crown. That I’d be staring at its face and thinking about them. Feeling their presence, seeing their smiling faces, and knowing that they once held this watch in their hands.

“Well, Dad, you certainly appreciated that watch and took good care of it. That watch is and was a great investment. I’d bet Grandma and grandpa never ventured a guess that 58 years later, you’d still be wearing the Omega. But now you got me thinking about family heirlooms. Dad, one day, I’d love to wear your bar mitzvah watch on my wrist and attach Grandma’s key chain to my keys. I promise to take good care of them. They’ll be  constant reminders of the love that flows in this family.”

“Son, all in due time.”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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