The Talisman

Today, my @WeGoHealth community asked the community of Health Activist Writers (#HAWMC) to write about “Things Remembered,” – items we’ve kept which remind us of an important time in life – whether it was a good day, a stressful time, or a happy moment in life.

Several years ago, my husband and I had a very intense conversation about “The Talisman.” Our lives were getting so out of control with illness, job stressors, family stressors, daily stressors, etc. that it was difficult to stop the world from spinning just long enough to look in one another’s eyes, breathe, and remember that many of those negative stressors, though urgent, are not ultimately important to our lives, to us individually, to our marriage or to our family.

I laugh when I remember that evening. While at dinner, we used a cut lime as an example of a talisman. A talisman is really just any “amulet or charm,” but it’s also “anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions.”

The “amulet or charm” that evening was a lime slice. We wanted, needed even, to mark our conversation in time and space so we wouldn’t forget the depth of our conversation, the meaning of those few precious minutes suspended in time, marked by our lime-talisman.

Small turquoise rocks, found in the Arizona dessert.

Small turquoise rocks, found in the Arizona dessert.

Since then I’ve taken the concept further in my life. I keep and give small remembrances to mark special moments in time. Since most of us don’t need just one more “thing,” these things remembered generally fall into two categories for me:

1) Pebbles, shells or unique rocks found, and. . .  2) Bracelets. Lots and lots of bracelets.

The found items usually come from a long walk, one I take to pray, clear my head, make a difficult decision, unwind from an emotionally stressful or tense situation. Last year, while staying with a mesh-injured friend in Arizona, I had one such difficult decision to make. I took a 45-minute walk in a nearby park. In the sand and dirt of the dessert, small rocks of turquoise and/or quartz are easily found. As I combed the dirt, I prayed for each person involved in the situation and picked up a piece of unique rock. I prayed again. I rolled the rocks between my fingers as I remembered each person. At the end of the walk, I had six rocks for six people and one decision that I knew was the best decision I could make, with the information I had at the time.

#TMWF's Mesh Injury Awareness Bracelet

#TMWF’s Mesh Injury Awareness Bracelet for sale at

Similarly, I have an inventory of very special bracelets, given to me by close friends and family members. I don’t know if it’s a Texas thing or a me thing, but I feel naked if I leave my home without at least four bracelets on my arm and lipstick on my lips and in my purse. 😉

Ok, maybe it’s a weird idiosyncrasy, but the bracelets serve as talismans for me. I have several special ones, given to me by women in the mesh injured community. I have one very special bracelet given to me by mother, which I seldom, if ever, leave the house without. I look down throughout the day and remember those I love. The bracelets remind me to be in continual prayer for women in my community and to be ever mindful and thankful for their unique influences in my life. They are each so indescribably special to me, and their efforts to love me by noticing that I wear bracelets and then sometimes even making bracelets for me – these are nothing short of exquisite gifts that fill me with gratitude in joy. bracelets_resized_retouched

Music holds a similarly strong effect over me, and I often make playlists (formerly the items known as “mix tapes”). 🙂

Music is the greatest language of the world. It unites all people, no matter what their primary language is. I can share love, hope, anger, frustration or determination with my whole community through the miracle of music and how easy it is to share music today. I often post playlists on SoundCloud, and these too serve as deep-seeded reminders of a past time, sometimes good, sometimes painful, but always powerful.

Other items I have in my home serve as talismans. If you know me, you know there is NOTHING in my home which doesn’t hold a very dear memory for me of a person or of a special time. Not even one glass or piece of furniture is meaningless to me. I guess you could say I’m rather sentimental. But these items represent very important times and people in my life. I dare not risk forgetting. I want to dwell in and among the memories as long as I can. After all, much of what makes us unique is the compilation of our unique set of memories.



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