- Fashion and Beauty
Jewelry from a Stranger: The Gift that Still Touches My Heart
As a female in a society that focuses on jewelry as the "perfect" and "priceless" gift for girls, I have received many pieces of jewelry. Every piece that is gifted to me touches my heart in some way. I look back and have a fond memory for each of them, even if they merely sit in a box or hang on the wall. I have three pieces of jewelry that were gifted to me that I consider as my favorites. The top of which is the most unlikely candidate and somehow rises above the rest.
Heart of Gold
When I worked in an orthopaedic clinic, the other clerks and I saw many patients who befriended us to some degree. However, there was one patient who had the most love for us, and not in a dirty old, perverted man way. He had a rough sense of humor not uncommon coming from the northeastern states. We did not always understand him (and I suspect he rarely understood my sense of humor either), but we liked him. He had a tendency to bring chocolate covered cherries to all of us in the clinic as a "thank you" for helping him. I never had the heart to tell him I was vegan, so I would pass along the gift to someone who would enjoy them and share the joy that his kindness brought.
One day shortly after my birthday, he called the clinic to wish me a belated birthday and told me he had bought me a gift. At that moment, I was thrilled enough that someone who did not know much about me remembered my birthday from a mere mention of it months before that I did not give much thought to what he had said. When he came into the clinic a couple months later, he handed me a little black jewelry box. I opened it to reveal a gold-colored sterling silver heart with 12 little diamonds. He tried to shrug it off like it was nothing, but made mention of how he had waited on the Danbury Mint to bring it in. Although he did not buy such gifts for everyone, he was just as considerate with my fellow clerks. I wish I had taken more time to get to know this man with such a large heart who can give without expectations of receiving in return. I still wear the pendant on my necklace of charms today.
My Favorite Coin
My grandfather was the chairman of the local numismatics club for many years. Every year, they held conventions and I volunteered to work as a greeter during my middle school years. I was not as eager in the pursuit of coin collecting as I am sure my grandfather would have liked me to be, but I did find a lot of what I learned was absolutely fascinating. I was even there when the first state quarter (Delaware) was released and helped to wrap up several rolls of them for those serious collectors who were first in line.
My interest, however, was with half-dollars; those wonderful 50 cent pieces that you could still come across on rare occasion in the 90s. I received my first one as a young child as partial payment from the tooth fairy for yet another lost tooth. When I volunteered at those conventions, I learned there were some far more beautiful half-dollars than the ones I was accustomed to. My absolute favorite was love at first sight: The Walking Liberty. She was the very embodiment of liberty; she was a vision of freedom, nature, strength, determination, and goodness.
My grandmother, being the wife of a coin collector club chairman, had three necklaces made from coins. All those years before her death, she already had planned who each necklace would go to; one for my mother, one for my aunt, and one for me. She was delighted that the one she picked for me, the Walking Liberty, just so happened to be my newly announced favorite. She never did mark the necklaces or write down which would go to whom. After she died, no one even knew to look for them let alone where they would be. It would be my aunt who would receive the spiritual message to check just the right place to find them. She and my mother separated them out, choosing their pieces and leaving the last for me. When my aunt handed me the Walking Liberty and I looked at the necklace my aunt wore, I held back tears. Each of the three necklaces went to the right woman.
The Most Touching Necklace Ever
Although I prize the pendants described above, my absolute favorite piece of jewelry ever gifted to me came from a total stranger. Before I left Alaska, I went with a friend to stop by the nursing home she previously worked in. There, I was introduced to a man who had a cognitive impairment and could not speak. He had grown up neglected into his adult life and was not taught any form of sign language. As a result, he had developed his own system as the caretakers at the home learned to communicate with him. He smiled every second that I was there and loved sharing the things that made him happy. It was impossible to stand in the same room with him and not feel his joy.
This happy man had two favorite activities: Taking pictures he could look at later and making jewelry with beads. Without any hesitation and with his amazing smile, he handed me a beaded necklace. I looked at it and commented on how awesome it was. When I tried to hand it back to him he refused. The ladies informed me it was a gift to me. I have treasured it ever since. Today, I keep it on my ancestor altar. For some who keep such altars, only items from and pictures of dead go on the altar. However, I like to keep a corner reserved for those friends I have lost touch with and may never hear from again as I consider them as part of my spiritual family. Their place on the altar is my way of asking that the ancestors keep watch over those I love who are still living. I keep this wonderful stranger's gift there in the hope that his love and joy continues to touch the lives of those he meets and that he has happy days for the rest of his time on earth.
Who was your favorite gift from?
Hub #22/30 for March Challenge
© 2012 Evylyn Rose