My Closet: The Mardi Gras Bunny

This I Wear | The Mardi Gras Bunny

My grandmother has been unwell. I flew down to Dallas to visit her last weekend – hence the skipped week here. I could have posted last week, since I was just away for a few days, but my gut knew I would be exhausted when I came back, which I was.

The morning after I returned home, I woke up and instinctively put on the bunny pendant that my grandmother and grandfather gave me as a little girl. I think I was around five years old when I received it from what I’ve been told. I never understood why I had it when I was growing up, because my little sister was obsessed with bunnies. I actually still don’t know why it’s mine.

The bunny was designed by a well-known New Orleans-based jewelry artist, Mignon Faget, and it was given out as a Krewe gift one year for Mardi Gras. A krewe is a dues-paying “club”, and it often involves a ball and sometimes a parade during Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. My grandfather had been part of a krewe, and received the gift of the bunny likely at a ball, and then passed it on to me.

For years, it was on a pale pink thin ribbon. Now it lives on a silver chain, and I occasionally wear it. Yet wearing it each day since I returned, I feel like I’m sending my grandmother strength and love, even if my mind is required elsewhere.

It’s not easy to see someone you love unwell. My grandmother danced me to sleep when I was little, paid for my piano lessons from kindergarten through high school, and bought me Limited Too chenille sweaters and plaid kilts at the height of the Clueless popularity when they were too expensive for my parents to afford. She taught me to love dressing up and that lemon juice and sunshine is all you need for some blonde highlights (which my mom did not appreciate).

I’m hoping there’s still time for me to learn more from her. For now, I’m sending her love and hope you’ll send her some well wishes too! And coincidentally, yesterday was Mardi Gras.

Do you have a favorite thing that keeps you connected and close to a family member or friend? I want to hear your story too! Share in the comments or tweet @ThisIWear.

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  1. Kristian

    My grandmother passed along a lot of her jewelry (which was too hard for her arthritic hands to clasp shut anymore) and she loved seeing me wear it, which was nice for us both. When I got married, she also gifted my husband and I a china hutch and china that she had had for years. Some of my clearest memories are her telling us stories about the items and the people she in turn got them from ( the great aunt that took her to a Chinese restaurant for the first time when she was eight, her great-grandmother with her newest purchase and her husband’s reaction to it.) Getting to see those reminders and knowing the stories go on, even after she died, really meant a lot.

    It is so good you were able to go see your grandmother!

    • Rebecca

      Kristian, I loved reading your story. Most visits and phone calls with my grandma over the last several years, even before she’s had her recent health issues, were/are all about which china did I want, what linen napkins, etc (she’s a very proper grandma!). I never know whether to feel sad or entertained by this, but your story reminded me how much joy there is in just listening to the stories of why she has all this stuff in the first place. She, more than anyone I’ve ever met, really does tell her story through stuff and the stories are always so detailed – I have no idea how she remembers it all, and it never ceases to astound me. Thank you for the reminder to listen a little bit more closely to these stories for the time we do have together.

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  3. Alden

    That’s a really sweet thing to do, to keep your grandmother close. I’ve been wearing my grandmother’s love knot earrings more often since I last saw her, as well, since she’s been getting weaker. I hope she has a speedy recovery, and you get some rest! xxo

    • Rebecca

      Thanks for sharing, Alden! It’s really amazing how much a little memento like that makes you feel connected to someone! Sending well wishes to your gram too!

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