|Lauren Elizabeth Stewart|
Today is a gray, snowy Valentine’s Day. I may feel cheery
simply because I know that sometime today Lauren will present her
boyfriend Roey with a framed picture you see here. I took it on Friday and I
wrote a blog about it here. I mentioned that I would write a further blog
explaining the significance of the jewels involved in the photograph. This is the one.
My grandfather, Don Tirso de Irureta Goyena (born somewhere in Spain in 1888) wooed my grandmother María de los Dolores Reyes (born in Manila, in 1888) with jewels he had designed in Paris.
By the early 1950s my mother and grandmother would take me to town in Mexico City to the Banco de Londres where they would take out the safety deposit box and I would see it was full of a very large collection of very valuable jewels. They would fish out the ones they thought they wanted to wear that evening to a party. The two items that they often mentioned to me (mixed with some Chinese jades) was a heart of diamonds that was supposed to be the most valuable item in the collection. Invariably my mother would take out a little angel with a little pearl. This she wore often I must add here that so did my Rosemary.
Both my aunt Dolly and my uncle Tony financed their divorces from jewels that were in the collection.
When my mother died in 1972, the next morning I received a
call from Aunt Dolly telling me how sorry she was but she also told me that my
mother had died a thief as the jewellery collection had to be parsed out in
three again. I informed her that I since I had the possession of the bank key
and I had no inclination in having more jewels pawned, I was a thief, too. Later, many years later, in the novels of P.D. James I would find out how family squabbles resulted in awful crimes.
Before my mother died she reiterated many times that the heart of diamonds was to be inherited by our older daughter Alexandra so that she could finance a university education. We never had to do as she did well at UBC without our financial help as did Hilary at Simon Fraser University.
Now with my Rosemary gone, and I have made my testament I know that my two daughters are best of friends and that the jewels will remain in the bank deposit box (they will get keys) and if in a near future should they want to go to a party or function they can wear what they want.
When my grandfather Tirso died in 1918 (of a heart attack that it was said was triggered by his climbing the Mayon Volcano a few days before) my grandmother went into mourning. She must have had made the lovely mourning band that my mother and Rosemary liked to wear and is part of Lauren’s Valentine’s Day photograph.
When we sorted through Rosemary’s stuff (she was a hoarder we found a Valentine that I gave her as soon as we had arrived in Vancouver. It is here for your perusal!
And of course, in spite of the snow, the heart of diamonds is safely back at the bank.