Roze quartzpublished: 2009-04-15
My mother gave me two presents for my birthday: a rug she had bought when she was in Tunesia. And a roze quartz necklace. There was a card too, saying ‘this was your grandmother’s’. My mother had wrapped the necklace in bright pink tissue paper and put it in a little black box. It’s hard to describe the way a split second can contain a lifetime of memories. Images flash associatively in your mind. I opened the box and touched the light-pink stones. I immediately remembered them. I don’t think I’d ever seen my grandmother wear them. But she had a small cabinet in her bedroom which held all her trinkets. Now and then I’d open all the drawers and boxes while she was taking a shower. I must have liked this necklace as I recalled having touched it many times. I also loved studying her dentures in the glass of water next to her bed. She’d sleep without teeth, but with bob-pins in her hair and a hair net. This was how she created the Marlene Dietrich waves in her fringe.
While putting the necklace on, another memory sprung to mind. How she and I once shared a hotel room in Africa. She had come to visit us in Ghana and my Dad took the entire family on a trip. I don’t remember what place we were. I do, however, distinctly remember the room situated at the top of a concrete stairwell that ran alongside the building. It had two single beds with only sheets. One wooden chair. Shuttered windows. It was hot. Pitch dark, both outside and in. There must have been a power cut of some sort. I was 11 and scared because everytime I closed my eyes, I dreamt I was trying to keep my balance on a tight rope over a black abyss. My grandmother was on the other side, calling me and telling me to trust her. To keep walking. But I kept looking back and waking up. Today, this dream no longer scares me. It comforts me to know my grandmother is on the other side. And she’ll be the one helping me to cross over.