In most families, an item passes down through the generations. The item may be a piece of jewelry, an instrument, or even something as small as a picture. People call these items heirlooms. Heirlooms endure the affects of time and stay in a family for years. The crystal rosary, an heirloom in my family, went through times as harsh as Hurricane Katrina and survived. Today, the rosary sits in a small plastic container holding years of history in its beads. The rosary holds the memory of Grandma McBride and Grandma Mary, reminding us of their lives before they passed. Grandma McBride’s crystal rosary contains an epic story and amazing memories that make it special till this day.
This is the rosary that belonged to Grandmaw McBride. The rosary has lost its shine but is still special.
When people think of the crystal rosary, they think of shiny crystal beads and a beautiful silver chain with a symbolic crucifix on the end, but time has treated the rosary cruelly. Now, the rosary does not have the shine that it did in 1948, when Grandma McBride gave the rosary to Grandma Mary as a confirmation gift. Now, in 2009, the rosary sits with dirt and evidence of time. The beads do not give off that same eye-blinding gleam it did when it was first passed down. The beads are dull and misshaped. The once perfectly shaped beads are now faded. The cross at the end has not aged well with time neither. The cross is stained a different shade of gray. Before, the cross could show someone’s reflection. Now, rust covers the crucifix with Christ’s body on it. The chain that holds the beads together looks as if someone painted it black. The chains look as if the rust on them will give away and snap, breaking the memorable heirloom. Though the appearance of the rosary may not be appealing, the story within the beads makes it beautiful.
This is just another photo of the crystal rosary. Though it is old, it is still together and not broken.
The heirloom was first passed on in the year 1948. Grandma Mary, at age seventeen, was making her first confirmation into the Catholic Church. Grandma McBride wanted to give Grandma Mary something special for such an amazing achievement. Thus, the rosary was passed down. Grandma Mary lived until she passed away in August of 1980, leaving the rosary without an owner. Grandma McBride decided to keep it to pass down to someone else instead of letting it rot in Grandma Mary’s house. Grandma McBride died on December 28, 2000. Then, in the year 2005, Hurricane Katrina wiped out the city of St. Bernard, Louisiana. In her wake of destruction, Grandma McBride’s house was flooded. After the damage was done, my grandma, Cindy Murret, decided to search for anything worth saving. One of her findings was the crystal rosary. Cindy tried to clean the rosary, but she could never renew it to when it would shine in the bright light. Cindy gave the rosary to my mother, who in turn will give it to my little sister, Ava. The rosary has passed through hardships such as devastation and deaths. The story the beads hold is one to remember.
Catholic rosarys are made up of 59 beads. A prayer is said on each bead such as the Hail Mary of Our Father.
The rosary is not only a piece of jewelry that has passed down through the generations, but it is also a sign of hope and faith. The rosary also contains the memories of Grandma McBride and Grandma Mary. The rosary symbolizes hope in the sense that when everything else in Grandma McBride’s house was destroyed, the rosary withstood the destruction. It gave us a hope that maybe one day we would survive this hardship and return to our city of St. Bernard. The hope helped us to cope with the pain and suffering the hurricane brought upon us. The rosary symbolizes faith because it is used for prayer in the Catholic religion. When people pray the rosary, they usually dedicate it to something important. They have faith in God when they pray to receive the prayer request. Most importantly, the rosary holds the memory of Grandma McBride and Grandma Mary. Though they will always be in our minds, the rosary reminds us of them whenever we look at it. We remember Grandma Mary’s achievement of confirmation, and we remember Grandma McBride’s love for her daughter by giving her the rosary. They will always stay in our minds.
Grandmaw McBride hand-made with blanket a good number of years ago. It was a present to my step-dad.
From the rusty chains to the misshaped beads, the journey the rosary went through shows how special it is. When hurricane Katrina struck, the rosary survived. Till this day, the rosary tells the story of love, Grandma McBride’s love for her daughter; suffering, the suffering from their deaths to the despair caused by Hurricane Katrina; hope, the hope to come back and live normal lives; and faith, the faith we have in our Lord to bring us back home.
This is just another picture of the blanket made by Grandmaw McBride. Time hasn't treated the blanket very well. There are a number of rips and tears in the blanket as seen in this photo.