Handcrafted Jewelry Lovers In Heaven

Kirpal, my former jewelry student, died recently at age 89. She was a retired teacher getting on in years, yet determined to live life to the fullest. She refused to sit and do nothing; and that's how she wound up in my jewelry class.

Kirpal was beautiful, elegantly silver-haired; and like many traditional women of India, she wore beautiful silken pants and tunics and long flowing scarves. Kirpal was creative, lively and she loved to dance. She was everything I hope to be when I'm 89.

And she loved to make jewelry. Of course, I could never get her to use a blowtorch or a jeweler's saw, but she could bend, curl and swirl wire with the best of them.

Young In Spirit 

For over 8 years Kirpal was the senior member of my group, but in spirit, drive and sheer determination, she was younger than any student in my class.

At 89, hands were frail. Sometimes they would ache or she would tire, but she never quit. While younger members of the class might complain about a new jewelry making technique, or how pushy I would get insisting they at least try, Kirpal would keep at it until she got it or until it was time to go home

Her niece mentioned at the memorial service that during her last days at the nursing home, Kirpal was still trying to sell her handcrafted jewelry to anyone who would listen. What inspiration for us middle aged or younger women who often get tired of creating earrings or making loops or manning our craft show booths..... or listing on Etsy.

I certainly hope there are handcrafted jewelry lovers in heaven, or wherever it is jewelry makers go after they put their pliers away for the last time. If there are, I know what Kirpal will be doing.


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