I’m not very sentimental when it comes to belongings, but after my grandma and grandpa passed away I wanted a little piece of them. I chose this heart locket and tag bracelets because it was a special time in their life.
My grandma, a five-foot, feisty red head woman, who could talk a mile a minute and make friends with just about anyone, met my grandpa, a six foot three, shy, quiet man in 1942 at the USO (United Service Organization) club in Chicago. They met after a man had announced to a room full of strangers, “ If anyone wants to know about the Navy, just ask Rosie. She’ll tell you everything you need to know!” My grandpa Foote, curious about how much she knew, stood up and walked over to her and the rest was history.
A classic love/war story, they fell in love, he went off to war wearing the engraved bracelets that my grandma had personalized with “Hands off, he’s mine, Rosie.” While he was away she wore this heart locket with a picture of them inside. When he returned from the war, they had 6 children and were together until the end when my grandpa died on July 4, 2005. She passed away three years later on July 20, 2008. For me, to hold these items in my hands, brings their story to life. It reminds me of their love and dedication to each other.
It’s important to have a Bahá’í community archive because seeing something tangible is so impactful. For me, it has more power and has more meaning. It can be insightful for the purpose of future growth. Through relics, music, and stories, we can preserve our spiritual and physical heritage so that our future generations can be inspired and reminded of how far we’ve come as a community. It shines a light on the path we’ve walked together and strengthens our vision of unity.
(images: a locket and bracelets in a jewelry box, a portrait of a couple in their wedding clothes)
To submit a story or item from your archive, i.e. photograph, material, item, etc, write to bahaitreasurersoffice(at)usbnc.org with a photo and answers to the question: Why did this item go in your archive? Why is it important to have an archive for the Bahá’í Community?
To learn more about the National Archive Campaign: Preserving our Spiritual Heritage, read the Bahá’í Fund Bulletin and The American Bahá’í magazine. Keep an eye out for videos, kids’ content, and more!
To contribute to the project, select "US Bahá’í National Archives Renovation Fund" in the Online Contribution System.