Au is the symbol for gold, a metal with an atomic mass of 196.97 amu, an atomic number of 79, and it is often defined by its a luster, malleability, and rarity. Gold is ranked from 8 Karats to 24 Karats; 8 Karats is 33.33% gold and is the lowest amount of gold acceptable for jewelry, 14 Karat is 58.33% gold and 24 Karat is 99.99% which is considered pure gold. In order to gain pure gold the gold must be refined heavily to make it perfect. For some reason humans have always been fascinated with gold; something about this metal makes gold special. Maybe it's yellow color is whats appealing, or the golds lustrous appearance, it could be golds rarity, or maybe it's some combination of those traits that makes it so appealing. Gold has become a symbol for perfection in the world and is often used to describe things as such; when people talk about period of great peace, prosperity, and happiness it is called the golden age, and when people talk about an angel they often characterize them with a golden glow, when people think an idea is great they often say it's "golden".
My uncle Chris had a beautiful necklace that I had always admired. The necklace was an unchanging piece of him that defined him in some special way. The necklace it was perfect with a lustrous gold aura, just like him. The necklace defined him; he was hardened by the years, rich in personality and a very rare form of a person. He was the type of person to give you the shirt of his back, the type of guy that would be there when you called him at 3am. He as always been there for me when I needed him, even as I write this essay he is watching over me I always looked up to my uncle for being that type of person. My uncle was the gold I strived to be, even today I want to be just like him.
I remember my uncle Christopher created so many fond memories that will always bring a smile to my face. He would take me down a back street and grab a special CD he made for me that made sounds of a car revving up. Then he would punch the gas and burn out. I would laugh and scream in awe as the smoke drifted behind us like billowing smoke from a fire, the smell of burnt rubber itched my throat. I recall another fond memory of when my uncle and I used to go to the mall and he used to teach me how to pick up chicks. He would point to a girl and say "Sean go get that one". As my little eight year old legs raced up to this 20 year old girl and I tried my cheesy pick up line my uncle would grin. The girl would always smile and ask my uncle who the adorable kid was. Looking back maybe it was me helping him get chicks all along, nevertheless I loved to just spend time with him, learn from him. After all the lessons he taught me I began to look at my uncle Chris in awe as if he were some hero from the movies and every hero needs a symbol, his was the chain around his neck.
I vividly remember the day I received my gold necklace; it was beautiful, with alternating rings made from lustrous 14k gold that shined. The chain wasn't a present, it wasn't something cheerful, it was given to me by my grand motherâ€¦ after my uncle...no my hero... had died. The day I found out my uncle had died is forever embedded into my mind; I was at my friend's house and my mom came over in tears. The only words she could manage were "Sean he's gone." At that point I didn't cry, I just stood there, my uncle was my hero, my Superman, he couldn't be gone. I stood there in disbelief for what felt like hours; He had always been there to teach me the things my mother couldn't, like how to pick up chicks, how to burn your tires out, and how to be a man. Then suddenly he was gone, but not entirely, he was now my angel with a golden glow about him.
My uncle had been stabbed a few weeks earlier protecting his friend from an assailant. I remember my family tried to hide it from me they even tried to send me on a camping trip with my friend and his dad but my friend couldn't keep such a secret from me. As my friend told me a storm of thoughts flooded my head;" why would they hide this?"," why did this happen?", but most importantly"Is my uncle going to be OK?". They wouldn't let me see him in the hospital, and I resented them for it. I remember hitting my step dad, the 250 pound boxer/martial artist, and he just allowed me to take my frustration out on him and I fell to the floor and cried. When I eventually got to see my uncle and it destroyed me inside to see my hero so vulnerable, so hurt, but even in the state he was in he still wore the gold necklace that defined him, the one that characterized his being. My uncle went through a plethora of surgeries and came through them all. He even began to walk again after three weeks of being in the hospital. It seemed like he was going to be alright. Then suddenly he died. I remember the funeral, it was so gloomy and depressing, exactly the opposite of my uncle. The funeral was the last time I ever cried, I would never feel a pain that ached through my whole being again . I saw my uncle for the last time as they closed the coffin and put him in the ground, the necklace no longer with him. I now bore the necklace that once defined my uncle. Now I had to live up to his being and define the necklace for myself. That day changed me forever and I bear his necklace around my neck to show that I have been refined.
At the beginning of my teenage years I often had terrible arguments with my mother that would end with both of us in tears or me running away. I didn't know what to do I was no longer a child but not quite a man like my uncle. I wasn't big or strong yet and I couldn't be like my uncle until I was big and strong. I was an unrefined little boy. I was a selfish hormone riddled teen and I took it out on my my mom; I had never actually hit my mother but sometimes the words I said could be daggers that sank deep into her soul. I knew how to get her and I used it, I made her hurt.
The day I lost my uncle all that changed I had to become the golden man my uncle once was . I had to fill the role of the man of the house for my younger siblings. I was young, only 14, but I mined, dug, and excavated through that rebellious exterior to find the adult I needed to be for my mom and my two siblings. I became society's view of what a man needed to be. I was a stamped version of a man. I never cried, I had no feelings, I was strong all these qualities covered in the mannerisms of a gentleman. Though I had worked so hard to make this mask of gold it was unrefined and brittle. I still had my rebellious bouts its as if my youth would not be contained by this sub-par mask and had to break out.
Eventually I became something my mother could be proud of I started gaining that special luster of a man. I was doing well in school, I was applying to college, I had a job and I helped as much as I could with the children and keeping the house clean. Over the years since my uncle's death I gained a strong set of morals and ethics, I learned that I should always try to help people. I looked forward to a promising future in hopes of becoming a doctor, someone who could touch the lives of others just like my uncle had touched mine. I became much more open minded to new ideas and arguments my mind became malleable as I grew. I was slowly but surly becoming a man my family would be able to rely, on the man I strove to be, the man my uncle was. Maybe that golden angel is looking down on me, proud of the man I am becoming or maybe he is just there to look out for me, either way I know my hero, my golden angel, is there with me to guide me on the right path.
People began wearing gold as jewelry as early as 12,000 years ago for decoration. Many early civilizations had kings and queens that were gilded. Their gold had ornate carvings that showed their wealth. Cleopatra, Caesar ,and Louis XIV were all known for their ornate gold that showed their power. Maybe these rulers thought that by wearing a metal that symbolized perfection they could be seen or even become a little more perfect. As if the gold would give them some quality that they didn't poses before, suddenly they would become smarter, stronger, or wiser. Many people today may wear gold necklaces or bracelets for fashion or status, but the necklace that hangs around my neck is not a status symbol it is a reminder... a reminder that I must work hard to define this necklace like one great man did, to give the necklace a home that is as perfect as gold is but for now,as it sits around my neck, it reminds me that , like 14 K gold, I may not be 100% refined but I am still golden.