That Crisp One Hundred Dollar Bill
Saturday, February 20, 2021
My Rosemary is gone and every day there is something that
invariably brings me to remember her.
In a box I found this neat TD Bank envelope and inside there
was a crisp one hundred dollar bill, so crisp that it almost looked artificial.
I asked myself if Rosemary had it there hidden for a possible emergency. I wonder if she might have forgotten that it
was there. She kept coins in a Bon Maman jam jar (her fave was the strawberry)
and in another jam jar she had five, ten and 20 dollar bills that satisfied
always my request, “Rosemary do you have any cash?”
As the trail that she left of credit cards, emails from the
Bay etc I shorten or eliminate (this is really tough) I know I will never get
to the point that nothing of her will remain.
A presence can be noted by its absence.
For anybody who might wonder of the image that I have used
to illustrate this blog, Epson printers have included for years the feature
that makes copying real money impossible. A screen capture will do here.
A Kitsilano Valentine's Day
Sunday, February 14, 2021
|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.