My Mamacita gave me my first set of pearls.  She also gave me my first clutch purse, when I was too young and tomboyish to know what to do with it.  She gave me a gold owl pendant necklace that would be very vintage today, and a set of miniature perfume bottles that I absolutely adored even though I really couldn't wear perfume without it tickling my nose.

I kept everything.

My Panamanian Mamacita, my dad's mother, was a lady.  She always encouraged me to stand up straight.  Her hair was always done, her jewelry on, her clothes put together.  I quite admired her gentility, even if my tomboy self didn't always understand it.  She was gracious (even when expressing an opinion that was less than gracious).  She was nice.  In a world where people don't always bother to be nice anymore.

She passed away recently.  She was 96.

I feel like a hole has appeared in our family history with her passing.  She didn't recognize me the last time I saw her, at a cousin's wedding a few years ago.  She danced at that wedding more than I did.  I doubt she would have recognized me if I had seen her more often, but I deeply regret that I did not make the opportunity to see her.

It's funny how much I enjoy pearls and purses now.