A Treasured Flower

We had next to no money that Christmas.  We had moved to Indiana to be near family, particularly my father-in-law who had been very ill.  With a background in banking, and an economy that was healthy at the time, my husband hadn’t anticipated any trouble finding a job there.  But the job he eventually secured had taken months to find.  And didn’t come with benefits.  We had an infant.  And another on the way.

 

On December 21, I ventured out with my baby son to find a few gifts for my husband.  I had a budget of $25, total, to spend on him.  I hadn’t driven around our “new” town very much yet and I nervously made my way to Target.  I found a warm hat (useful since we had previously lived in Florida and southern Virginia!), some puzzle books, and a clearanced green fleece top.  I think I found a couple other fillers, too, but I don’t truly remember.  Back home, I wrapped them with love, labeling one from our 10 month old and one from “Baby S.”

 

I had no idea that Baby S. would be arriving before Christmas.

 

C’s birth came frighteningly early and with a whole lot of drama.    A Christmas Eve baby born four months early means that, most assuredly, Christmas will be spent in the hospital.

 

My husband had thoughtfully transported all of the gifts from our home to my hospital room, along with a teeny tiny tabletop tree.

 

(I need to back up a little bit here and tell you a couple quick facts about me:

1) I LOVE jewelry– the real stuff.  The sparkly stuff.  The gemstone stuff.  I have no weakness for shoes or handbags… but jewelry?  Be still my heart.

2) I’ve loved jewelry since I was an itty-bitty thing.  I used to pore over the Sears catalog when I was a little girl and dream of the sparkles.

3) As a child, my very favorite pieces of jewelry were the ones with “flowers” with gemstone petals (usually ruby or sapphire) and diamond centers.  I thought they were the most beautiful things EVER.

4) My husband loves to buy me jewelry and, when we had two incomes and no kids, I was crazy spoiled.)

 

Okay, back to the story.

 

Late, late Christmas night, when my appetite had finally returned and I was gorging myself on butter cookies from a tin, we exchanged gifts.  He appreciated all I had chosen for him and thanked me repeatedly.  Then he handed me a little box.

 

 

 

“Our two babies’ birth stones,” he murmured, as I gaped at the little garnet flower with the diamond center.   “Well, at least they should have been.”  He gave me a wry grin.  Who would have guessed our baby due on April 15th would have arrived in December?

 

He, too, had had a $25 budget with which to buy my Christmas gifts.  By some stroke of serendipitous luck, he stumbled upon that ring… the very style I had adored as a little girl… in my tiny ring size… with the birth stones (supposed to be!) of our two children… on a crazy clearance.

 

I pulled that ring from my jewelry box yesterday and slipped it on my finger.

 

Even though we have three children now… and even though that diamond isn’t really C’s birthstone… and even though we can afford a ring that costs more than $25 now…

 

 

I will always treasure that little flower.

 

 

 

 

 

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