An Unexpected Gift: Shells and Solace

I took off my golden cross necklace today– for a wonderful reason.

My step-mother, Diane, just returned from a 10 day bus vacation with her sister. I was having dinner with her and my father, and she told me she had a couple of little things for me.

I was delighted, since I hadn’t expected anything. It was really a thoughtful gesture.

My favorite color is orange– as everyone knows.

First I saw the bracelet, which is a simple plastic bracelet with blue and peach colored beads in a Navaho type pattern. The centerpiece is a circle, set with a deep orange stone in a bulls-eye position.

I have small wrists, and most watches and bracelets are too big. But this was the perfect size, and right away I loved it. It’s still a little loose, so the centerpiece rotates around with movement and isn’t always visible– but I still really like it.

I told Diane how much I loved it, and she said something simple that fit right into my heart.

She pointed out that the orange center is the same color as the orange ring I wear every day on my right hand. She bought it as a gift for my 26th birthday and I adore it. I get complimented on it all the time, even though it’s not technically a precious stone. It’s a man-made padparadscha sapphire, blazing orange. I’m not normally into jewelry, but she works in a jewelry store and one day when I visited her my eyes glazed over when I spied it.

But to me the ring is a precious stone, because it’s a gift from my step-mother.

I was astonished yet further that she noted this detail of synchronicity. What is a little spooky is that she told me this after I had already put the bracelet on my right right wrist– which lined it up perfectly with the ring.


And then she had another gift as well– a deep orange shell necklace. It’s just the right length for me.

I loved this one even more, and rushed to look at it in the bathroom.

When I saw how perfectly it fits me, I decided to take off my golden cross, which was underneath it. I carried the gold necklace to the box the necklace had come in, and rested it inside.

I hope it made her feel important to see that.

I used to wear a cross for a feeling of safety, in a superstitious way. A very Catholic way.

But I know God doesn’t mind if I wear other jewelry.

And somehow, wearing this necklace right now makes me feel even more protected and special– because it’s a gift from my step-mother.

It’s light, it feels comfortable– and it seems to represent who I am in a subtle way.

Diane pays attention to details, and she knows who I am. She is a very reserved woman, but she shows her love through listening, and keeping in touch with people, and thoughtful gifts.

I feel incredibly blessed today.


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