Monday, April 16, 2018

04.16.18 Celebration - reprise

Tzimmes for first night Seder
Last year, when I wrote about Passover, I began my post by saying...

Ostensibly, this is a blog about jewelry, but you (gentle reader) and I both know that sometimes I write about jewelry, and other times I use it as an excuse to write about something else.  This post is very much in the latter category.

Well, this year my Passover post really IS about jewelry - a very special piece given to me by my dear friend, Don, who - along with his wife - has hosted the first night Seder we have attended for going on 15 years.

From year to year, the number of folks in attendance at the Seder varies - it's been really big (upwards of 30) and smaller (a dozen or so people), but regardless of the size, I take tzimmes and Don pays careful attention to the seating arrangements. Some years we have been seated together as a family, other years we've been spread out - and the idea is that over the celebratory meal we will talk to new people - or at least people we don't see very often.

Ricky Frank teaching at Creative Side Jewelry Academy
Photo credit: CSJA
In the spring of 2015 I had just started taking metalsmithing classes, and had talked about it a little bit over dinner with Don's wife, Sherry and his mom, Jean.

In 2016, Don seated me across from Jean - she remembered our conversation about jewelry, and asked if I was still taking classes. I told her that indeed I was.

We began to talk about a jeweler she knew well - cloisonne master Ricky Frank.  Jean and Don's dad, Peter, knew Ricky's parents and had been friends since their days as college students.

As it happened, Ricky was going to be teaching in the coming week at Creative Side - although I wasn't signed up for his class.  One day shortly after the Seder, when I arrived at the studio, I said hello to Ricky before he started teaching and told him about my connection to Jean. We agreed that it was a very small world, and it was clear that he had a great fondness for her.

Jean's pendant
I saw Jean at Seder again last year (2017), shortly before she was scheduled to have heart surgery.  She was very pleased to hear that I had connected with Ricky.

Sadly, the surgery turned out to be more complicated that expected - and she never recovered.  My heart broke for Don, and his family.

This year, when we arrived for Seder, Don said he had something he wanted to "pass over" to me - it was this beautiful Ricky Frank pendant that belonged to his mother. I was so honored, and moved by his gift that honestly, I'm still processing the depth of my emotions even as I write this post.

I also knew immediately that I would wear it with my mom's gold hoop earrings - which I wrote about in one of my earliest posts.  In fact, just a week after receiving the pendant, I wore it with the earrings, to the ballet.

Every piece of jewelry really does tell a story - and the story of this pendant is one of lifelong friendships and deep connection. It is truly a treasure.

Until next time.

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