I’ve learned that the Italian side of my family was either one of two things during my first years: feeding or decorating me.
Keeping with my grandparents’ aesthetic preference of seeing tiny pieces of gold on a child – after all, a bambina is this ultimate symbol of beauty and purity or whatever – I had both of my ear lobes pierced for earrings before I was little more than a year old. In addition to this, when both my sister and I were born we were gifted with a yellow gold bracelet featuring a flat plate engraved with our names, respectively.
As we grew, they grew with us; our parents had links added to the chains as the years passed.
We both worn them daily on our left wrists until, given the absurdity of allowing a child to wander about with precious metal so casually, we both lost them in our own seemingly-tragic accounts. My loss, I presume, occurred crawling through tubes and adventuring in a ball pit during a friend’s birthday party.
Aside from occasional nostalgic thoughts, I hadn’t much cared about that bracelet again until now.
Currently, a yellow gold bracelet is around my left wrist.
Like my former name-bearing one, this features a plate with text. The hand-pressed letters states TYPE 1 DIABETES, instead of a stylized version of Ashley.
I’ve not been much of a fan of medical ID bracelets, despite having a few over the years. I’d think things like how they stood out or they were too much of a signal for other people to treat me like I was different, even sick. Or, diseased.