Jennifer Veade of St Louis, MO

I have always been a lover of charm bracelets. I believe it enables you to carry around several small symbols of various important people/places/things from your life. It is vital to remember the different phases you go through in life while also remembering the current phase and looking forward to the future phase. If I could make a charm bracelet, I would put five different charms that represent important aspects of three phases of my life: past, present, and future.

First, I would pick the Louisiana charm (#3418) because that is where I was born and raised and also where my parents reside. I lived right outside of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and since then have developed an astounding sense of pride for the culture, hospitality, and strength of the people from Louisiana. My family owned a lake house on the Gulf of Mexico that was completely destroyed from the Hurricane. In honor of the home I spent countless weekends and summers at, I would pick the Shell with Pearl charm (#0552). I remember digging up clams and other lake treasures with my sister during the long days of summer.  I will never forget that house or those memories.

I left New Orleans to attend college, but a piece of me will always miss and cherish my original city and state. To represent the current phase of my life, I would choose the Africa charm (#5471) and the baby shoe March charm (charm #0473-3). Next December, I will be fulfilling my dream to travel to Ghana, Africa and volunteer in an orphanage for two weeks. While in college, I met an African refugee who goes by Mama Georgette. She told me her story and made me realize how lucky and blessed my life is. From then on, I felt a calling to help the people of struggling African countries in any way I possibly could. I am fulfilling this dream soon and would love to have a charm to look at everyday and think about my trip and my dedication to those who are not as fortunate as I am.

I would pick the baby shoe charm to represent my niece, Bella. Unfortunately, I am only able to see her a few times a year because she lives several hours from me. We have been separated since she was born so I have had to watch her grow up through pictures and video chats. My sister tells me stories of all of the silly things she does, and I sadden as I realize that I will never be a physically present part of her life. With this charm I can always remember her and when people ask me about the various charms on my bracelet, I will be able to share with them Bella’s goofy stories.

The future phase of my life has recently been made brighter with an engagement to my fiancé, George. The ‘A Date to Remember’ charm (#6301) would be a wonderful reminder of the date of our future wedding, March 19, 2011, and something to remember the day by afterward. He is my best friend and I longingly look forward to the day when I get the privilege of calling him my husband. The life we will lead together will not always be easy, but it will be filled with laughter and fond memories. At various times in one’s life, there are a plethora of ever-changing important items or people; however, the most important things will remain constant. To have an item that you are able to view on a constant basis that reminds you of the importance and love you have for these things is invaluable.

Jennifer Veade
St Louis, MO

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