Thursday, June 3, 2010

Treasured: Shell necklace

This week's installment of "Treasured" features another piece of jewelry that's part of the JoAnnian folklore (yes, I did just do that to my name). I find it a very integral piece to my wardrobe not only because of its beauty, but because of what it symbolizes.

My parents met and fell in love in the Philippines, where my mother is from and where my father was stationed while he was in the Navy. I was born there, and my family lived there until I was two, when my father was re-stationed in the States. For many reasons, my family has not been able to go back to visit in her hometown together. My mom has gone once before, but never with us kids. 
But, many things have changed over the years, making a trip finally possible -- my mother and my sister are now in the Philippines on vacation, visiting with family. It's such a huge milestone for our family to go, and to be able to see our relatives face-to-face and not have to rely on just phone calls and pictures. 

When I was 18, one of my mother's friends gave me this necklace. She was from the Philippines too, and had just come to live in Georgia, a few miles from our house. My mom befriended her shortly after she moved to the States and had her come to our house to visit. The friend talked about the transition to living in America, and how she felt really homesick. Her stories made me feel homesick too, for a home I'd never really seen. 

At the end of her visit, we dropped her off at her house. She came back outside and handed me this necklace, jewelry from her homeland.
For me? 
To keep?
"Yes," she said. "You'll get there someday." And she went inside.

I hope my mom and sister enjoy every moment and take lots of pictures. I hope they remember every detail. Because I want to be able to remember it, too.

My mom said next summer will be my year to go, and I want her town to already feel like home.

signature1 by you.


  1. my best friend's husband is Filipino and his mom always cooks the most amazing foods for us. She's a riot, too. Kelly (my bf) has not been yet, but they plan to take their son to see family out there when he's a little older. I hear it's beautiful there!

    What a beautiful memory you have with that necklace. :)

  2. I love your 'Treasured' posts! I think that in style blogging it's easy to get caught up in what's trendy, new, popular, etc. for clothing, shoes, & accessories. It's also easy to put together and post a collage of cute dresses from Internet shops (which I won't deny is fun to look at and I do it on my blog sometimes), but when you post a picture of a beloved wardrobe item and you explain why you love it or present us with a story about it it transcends the typical coveted item post. It also makes me remember that I don't need to get the newest, trendy thing but return to my closet to my beloved items. I hope these posts are a mainstay on your blog!

  3. Lovely story, Joann! (And I would totally write Breanneian or something similar, so I love that you made your name an adjective.)

    I love this series! It's so fun seeing what special memories or connections some of your beautiful pieces have for you. I hope you keep going with it :-)

  4. That's so sweet. My college roommate was half Filipino and finally was able to meet her family a few years back in person. I know it's an experience she won't forget. I am hoping I get to meet some of my family from Belgium and England in the next few years. My Mom has great stories about everybody and I just can't wait.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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