The following story is told by a friend.
When I was 12 or so, my family had moved from a small modest suburb, into the middle of East Baltimore. It was a bit of a culture shock for all of us. My dad was just opening his first business, by the sweat of his brow and the seat of his pants. It was hard work, seven days a week. And we lived upstairs from the business.
So leave it to say that resources were scarce for the family. A couple of years before the move, one day as my mom was out in the back yard hanging up laundry ( ok so I am dating myself here) she looked at her engagement ring, and i remember her being just distraught, noting that the diamond was gone.
Now, her engagement ring was very important to her, modest though it was. I remember it as being a yellow gold filigreed setting, with the tiniest of diamonds set all by itself. Even after the stone fell out, she wore that ring every day, and knew one day that the diamond would be restored.
So here we are, about 10 years hence, and my mom is still wearing that ring with an empty setting. Gosh but mom was sentimental! I remember that Christmas, after Dad’s business had been open about 3 years and he was doing pretty well, that Dad asked me, “what do you think your mom wants for Christmas?” Well, even though I was a teenage boy, it took me about 3 seconds to blurt our A DIAMOND RING! My Dad just smiled, and said “No, Really. What would she like?”
So I advocated for mom, knowing what a diamond engagement ring meant to her, after all of the toil and hard work of getting a business off the ground, and I was very disappointed to go shopping with my Dad and witness him buying her costume jewelry. Oh My God, I thought.
On Christmas day, my mom was opening her last gift, a large box in silver with a big blue ribbon. She was obviously disappointed, a little annoyed, and resigned to her collection of costume jewelry. When she opened the box, we were all curious when we saw a second box inside. Her eyes twinkled a bit, and daringly opened that small box to reveal a simple Diamond Solitaire in white gold. It was elegant, brilliant and gorgeous. And, so was her smile.
When I think of my Dad, now my eyes twinkle too.