An Eternal Bond: The True Meaning of a Gift


I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday season. Many of you have received some sort of material gift this year from a loved one. I was always told that the thought was what mattered, not the gift. If somebody loved you enough to give you something, then the gift was priceless. I wanted to share a story written by someone whom I love with all of my heart. It is a story of the true meaning of jewelry and the bonds created by that love. Enjoy!

Love and bonding:

Jewelry creation and transfer in a callous world

  I knew that I should’ve worn my wedding ring to the baseball game. I kept making excuses about the weather being too warm out and I wanted to be comfortable; I also remember thinking that I didn’t want to lose it while we stayed at the hotel in Denver.  I misplaced it once before while I was washing my hands getting ready for my next patient when I worked in Dental Hygiene. That painful feeling of loss and anger for not caring for it and the joy and glee of knowing it was in a different drawer of my small clinical operatory.

The day we eloped in San Antonio we were both wearing flip flops and t-shirts. The judge asks “where are the witnesses, where are the rings?” We pretended to place the rings on each other’s fingers and drove to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico for a weekend retreat. A week later the guilt and shame of hiding from our parents kicked in. We called them, and then drove to the flea market to buy twenty-dollar rings. Driving back on I-10 in the heavy spring rain, we dreamt of our future together, of aspirations together and how wonderful the universe was for bringing us there at that moment in time. The U.S. Army forced us to elope, he was leaving to Killeen, TX more than likely headed straight for Iraq and I was headed to Colorado Springs, CO.  More than ten years later, the twenty-dollar rings were safe in my jewelry box.

He saved a few paychecks to make sure I got the ring he said, “I deserve.” At our ‘real’ wedding according to our parents, he gave me the most beautiful ring. All my family and friends were constantly asking, “Where did you get that” and “wow.” I felt very special but I had my little old ring we bought in San Antonio hidden deep in my heart. That bond we created did not have a price and will never be taken away.

A few years later, our daughter Bianca began to express her creativity. We were constantly receiving strings made of cheerios or beads. Some were full of glitter and some were sticky with glue. We became “hoarders” of children’s art and trinkets; you can find them on almost every corner of our home. In pre-school Bianca made a piece of jewelry she worked so hard on. The paint was coloring my fingers as I held it; the rocks were heavy and I wondered how she managed to get the wire through the rocks. As she got older, she began to learn to braid. She begged to learn to make friendship bracelets and made one for almost everyone she knew. While her cousins and friends watched movies and played video games, she was entertained with her cut cardboard piece and string hanging from it.

My sister knew that Bianca loved to make art and jewelry and carved a beautiful wooden box. This box was filled with every color bead, rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. She held it very dear because her “aunty made it.”  Like me, she loved holding all her important things in her jewelry box next to mine.

As we drove back from Denver that Monday morning, the front door was open. I immediately started questioning my husband and became very nervous. It was a strange and eerie feeling, like that of a haunted evil movie. He demanded that we stay in the vehicle and wearily walked into our home. He stepped on broken glass, television on the floor and the bedroom doors closed. What? We never close the doors! We always leave our doors open for each other; an open door is an invitation for anyone to enter and no one to hide.

After the police let us back in the home, I am distraught. I can’t seem to understand what has happened and why the TV is on the ground, why there is glass on the floor, why my doors are closed. I cannot give the police a description of my items; I never had to inventory my belongings. I quickly become disturbed; my main jewelry box is gone. Pearls that were gifted to me at my wedding, pearls that have been passed down the family for many generations; my wedding ring and all my trinkets are gone. As I sat on the bed full of glass, I remembered the twenty-dollar ring, the memories of our wedding, the expensive ring and all the little beautiful art that Bianca had made. I cannot fathom why they couldn’t just take the TVs, “take the damn TV!”  I pace around the house thinking that I was in a dream; my home was violated, and my treasure was taken. As I walked out of the back door, I saw the green box that contained my pearls on the ground. “They dropped it!”  That euphoric feeling made me cry tears of happiness. “I didn’t lose it all” I thought; I felt the soft pearls and sweet memories of my dear mother-n-law placing them on me and I felt relieved. When she passed away in 2008, I remember placing them back in their green, almost ancient box and thinking “Bianca will wear these at her wedding.”

That blissful feeling was completely shattered when I saw Bianca’s face. She was afraid, she was more than just distraught; she too, was violated. Not only did they disturb her safety in her home, they also took her treasure box.

As we both cried on the back porch, and I thought “what else does god have to put us through?”; my late mothers jewelry was in there too. I remember wanting to give her jewelry to my youngest sister. It had only been two months since they took her body to the morgue and I took possession of all her personal items. Taking the weekend off, away from the pain and thoughts of death seemed like a great idea. I couldn’t comfort Bianca; she needed me so much. We sat there crying for hours, the only words I remember saying was “I love you.” Embracing each other and crying on each other was much more than words can describe.

All those memories, she remembers everything; every stuffed animal, every gift she received.  She must have repeated a million times “my aunty gave me that” and “that had my best-friend bracelets.” How can I take that pain away? Her broken heart made my pearls and ring feel so insignificant.

I thought that she would stop making these small things, to share her love and art. I really misjudged a child’s mind. She became stronger and more resilient; she comprehended the idea that “some people need it more, and don’t realize they hurt others by their actions.” Bianca set a beautiful example of love and compassion. All I could think of was “why would someone take a child’s jewelry box?”  It was obvious it contained trinkets and beads. My problem was that these items were invaluable and they were gone. We had lost material items, but not our love. Thanks to the beautiful soul of a seven year old, I realized that the memories of the bond would forever be in our hearts where thieves will never triumph.

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