Something to Hold On To This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 5, 2012
By , Tel Aviv, Israel
I still like to run my fingers over the grooves in the thin band of gold to remind myself. My grandmother gave it to me this past summer when she visited. She slipped the gold bangle off of her wrist and placed it in my hand. “Wear it always,” she said, “and when you look at it, remember that I love you and that you need to be strong because everything will be okay in the end.” I nodded with gratitude and slipped it on my left wrist.

After my grandmother’s visit came to a close, my summer went downhill. My mom worked a lot, so I was trapped inside all day long taking care of my two stubborn little brothers. When my dad came home from his business trip, the situation did not improve. My family was going through hard times that month. My dad and my mom argued in the middle of the night about things that I did not want to hear or know. I would lie awake in the darkness as the hurtful words coming from down the hall created a gaping hole in my chest.

In those hours of the night, I felt utterly alone in the world, as if someone had dropped me in the middle of a dark and tangled forest and left me stranded there. One night, I put my hand to my wrist and felt the cool, pure metal of the bangle. Since my grandmother had left, I had kept my promise to wear it at all times. With the bangle still on my wrist, I slid my fingers through it and gripped it firmly. I held it so tightly, like it was my lifeline. I imagined my grandmother there with me, asking me in a firm voice, “What good does it do to get upset right now? You need to be strong and power through the tough times because in the end, everything will be fine.” With her words, all of the chaos and loneliness I felt in my heart faded away, and the gaping hole in my chest was filled by the reassurance that everything would turn out alright in the end. Only minutes later, my fantasy faded as I drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

After that night, I continued to use the bracelet as my salvation. At times when I felt like someone had pushed me down so that I could no longer stand back up, I clutched my golden bangle to help myself get back on my feet. When I felt lonelier and more isolated than ever, I held on to the bangle to remind myself of what my grandmother had told me. Even in times when my bangle was not enough to get me up and running, it was enough to comfort me.

Sometimes, I would pass my thumb over the indents of decoration all along the golden band to try to make myself understand why it helped (and still helps) me so much. And now I know why. Everyone needs something to hold on to. Whether it is a bangle, a necklace, or a photograph, everyone needs something to hold on to in the darkest hours of the night that can remind them to be strong and look forward to the break of dawn.

By the time the summer had ended, though still present, the problems in our family were not as prominent, and I could see several inklings of light on the horizon. Today, about half of a year since my grandmother handed me the golden bangle, I can see clearer than ever how right she was when she told me that everything will be fine in the end. Life is full of ups and downs, and predicting what tomorrow will be like is almost impossible. That is where my bangle comes in. I wear it with me always so that when things get tough, I can pass my fingers over the grooves in the thin band of gold to remember to remain strong and look forward to better times in the future.





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