I took a second to think about this gold bracelet my mother gave me when I returned from my time in Singapore, and visited Wisconsin for our family reunion this summer.
As I stare at this elegant bracelet around my wrist, I see something more than just the glimmer and beauty.
I think about how culturally and traditionally gold jewelry was and continues to be given to women from their mothers and relatives when embarking on the path toward marriage, as a major objective in their life, and seemingly the most important thing to happen in a woman’s life (as it is valued universally).
My mother gave me this gold bracelet as a gift for passing my dissertation proposal defense in June, and achieving PhD candidacy.
As I noted in previous posts, I never knew I could make it this far. And I never knew it would take so much out of me.
Along the way, as I evolved with my goals, as I fought hard to carve my own path, and follow my dreams and ambitions for higher education, my parents evolved with me as well. The choice I made to focus entirely on my education and career is a hard one for any parent universally, and especially within our desi culture. But I remain grateful to them, for understanding what was and continues to be right for me.
My mother giving this bracelet to me for my dissertation defense, in comparison to the tradition of giving their daughter gold for her wedding day, in a sense symbolizes her understanding of how much my PhD pursuit and the PhD journey has meant to me. Just as much or to be frank, even more than the concept of marriage.
This is why this gold bracelet is special to me and signifies something greater than its physical and material beauty. I plan to keep this bracelet as long as I live, Godwilling, in remembrance of the “value” and “worth” my dear mother placed on my achievement, with this precious gift.
Peace, warmth, and blessings,