Birthdays and Joy

Birthdays have always been important to me. I look forward to each one with anticipation and excitement. My fortieth birthday happened to fall on the day that my uncle’s funeral was to take place.  Even though attending his service was hard, I knew that his life would be celebrated which is part of what we do on our own birthdays.  He lived a good life of eighty years in spite of being both physically and mentally handicapped. His speech was often difficult to comprehend, but I was always able to understand him when he said, “I love you.”  His love for a full church and me spoke to his kindness. Being with family and friends who loved my uncle’s sweetness in no way dampened my spirits on this special day of my own birth.

Upon arrival home after the service, my son ran to check on his pet rabbit Trixie and found him dead.  A friend of mine often says, “You can’t make this stuff up.”  This loss on top of losing my uncle was more than I could handle. How could we bear any more sadness today? My son was inconsolable. I anticipated canceling our dinner reservations that my husband had made for the two of us, just as our sitter arrived on this scene. She insisted that we go out and enjoy our dinner in spite of these extraordinary circumstances. Her take-charge attitude was welcome after such a long day.

My heart was heavy as we arrived to our romantic dinner for just the two of us at one my husband’s favorite Italian restaurant. As we were waiting for our dinner to arrive, I remember feeling like I just wanted this day to be over. Then, my husband pulls a very small sized blue box out of his dinner jacket. I recognized immediately the royal blue small sized gift to mean only one thing—Schwarzschild Jewelry Store—a ring I imagined. As I opened the box, I could see the brilliance of an opal stone shining in hues of aqua, orange, pink, purple, and green surrounded by tiny diamonds.  My heart melted as tears ran down my face. This ring was so similar to one his Aunt had which I had been admiring for years. He was so thoughtful.

He placed the new ring on my hand, and it was a perfect fit. The ring brought me so much joy knowing how much he loved me. It continues to delight me every time I wear it.  Even though my husband died a few years after giving me that ring, I am reminded of how much joy he gave me in the midst of a very hard day.  People always admire it and inquire as to where I found such a beautiful stone. I simply say, “It was a gift for my fortieth birthday that my husband gave me from Schwarzschild.” The rest of the day impacted me, but the deep love of my husband in his most generous heart shines on in that lovely opal.  The beauty held in this precious gift presented in a blue box whispers to me at such times saying softly, “I love you, Happy Birthday!”

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