Published July 20, 2007 by
My husband and I expanded our card and gift store by renting the additional space next to our business. It was a scary time, as the rent was now double what we paid before the expansion. I ordered more merchandise to fill the new space at added cost to operate the business. I prayed we would have the customers necessary to pay all the bills. At Christmas, my husband and I decided not to give each other gifts, as finances were stretched both by the store and our personal obligations, including two mortgages on our house.
On Christmas Day of that year, contrary to our agreement, my husband presented me with a huge, heavy gift-wrapped box. I was upset because I had not gotten him anything. He urged me to open the present, so I unwrapped and opened the box. There was another package inside, so I opened that one. Then there were three more boxes to open. Each one was a little smaller than the previous one. Finally, I opened the last one and there were two house bricks and a brightly wrapped jewelry box inside. With trembling hands, I opened the beautiful box. Shining brilliantly was a two-caret diamond tennis bracelet. I gasped and then I cried. The bracelet was on my wish list, but I never thought I would own one.
When I started crying, my husband asked me, "Don't you like it?" He was afraid it wasn't what I wanted. I protested, "I love it, but we have no money right now." "Those are the very times you need a lift, a special present. I love you and wanted to surprise you," he answered. Well, he surely surprised me! That occasion was twelve years ago, and I still wear the bracelet every day to remind me of his love. The bracelet still shines brilliantly and brings me great pleasure. It was a perfect gift then as it is now. Now that my husband is deceased, it means even more to me. I feel the comfort and the devotion my husband showed me whenever I look at it sparkling on my wrist. It's almost as if he has his hand on my arm.
My husband bought me many pieces of jewelry throughout our years of marriage and each piece was selected with love and my enjoyment in mind. Sometimes he designed a special piece and the jeweler created it. The jeweler was excited when he was able to fashion a unique gift. When I wear the jewelry, I feel the love he had for me. It is an experience that really can't be adequately described in words.
Because of my husband's selflessness and generosity, I now make every gift occasion one of joy and thankfulness for the person's presence in my life. He taught me the true meaning of giving and how to give from the heart. For that wisdom I will always be grateful.