There I was waiting impatiently for my grandmother to ring the door bell, as if expecting her to arrive with a treasure box. In fact, she was. The treasure was a very special gift, a link to our family’s history in Canada — and what could better represent our family’s migration to this great northern land than… a fur coat!
I got so emotional when my grandmother arrived with a red box; inside was my very own raccoon fur coat! She looked at me, laughed and said, “Dear..this raccoon coat could fit three of you! You look so small in it!
Then, more seriously: “You know, you are continuing a family tradition, because this coat belonged to your GREAT grandmother!” I was astounded; this coat was more than 30 years old — but it was still in very good condition. I begged for her to stay a while longer to tell me the story of how this coat came into our family. So she did.
In 1980, a young Siliezar experienced her first Quebec winter — quite a shock! — and the story of my own life could have been very different if she hadn’t been given this coat. No other gift could compare for a Salvadorian immigrant who was seeing snow for the very first time. If she hadn’t received it, who knows what she might have done? I may have been brought up somewhere else!
And little did she know that, thirty-one years later, this special coat would be warming the heart — and soon the body — of her own great-grand-daughter.
In additon to keeping generations of Siliezars warm, fur coats have an additional attribute: they can be re-cut and re-styled as fashions evolve. To celebrate this latest stop in the voyage of this remarkable raccoon coat, I now intend to remodel it to fit my own personality and style. Coming soon! I will visit Montreal furrier to transform my coat and hopefully I will have some material left to design more accessories!