My Grandfather's Bracelet

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The bracelet and the box it came in.
The bracelet and the box it came in.

My grandfather’s bracelet represents the unfortunate distance between my French and family heritage and myself. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a few years earlier, and when his condition deteriorated suddenly, we didn’t fly over in time before he died. My last memory of him is of the time I visited my grandparents at their summer home in the city of Toulon. By that time, it was difficult to communicate with him, but he always lit up when he saw me. Soon after he passed, we went back to France. When we arrived at my grandmother’s house in L’Âge, she handed me a small box with the words “From Grandpa, for Emmanuel” written in French on the top. She told me that he wanted me to have it. Inside the box was a simple, silver linked bracelet, worn from years of continued use. My grandfather used to wear this bracelet all the time, so often, in fact, that I had nearly forgotten that it wasn’t a permanent part of him. I can still remember the clinking noise it made when he walked around and swung his arms. The only physical thing I have to remember my grandparents by while I am in the United States is my grandfather’s bracelet. Every time I look at it, I reminded of them and the distance that separates us, as well as the distance that separates me from the culture, language, and food that is rarely found in the United States. I am hopeful that I will be able to return soon, to make sure that that part of me is never lost or forgotten.

Place(s): France
Year: 1985

– Emmanuel Decaudin

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant