When I was a teenager my grandmother Lillian gave me a gift for my birthday. I forget which one. What I do remember is that she took me to Ruby Tuesdays at the mall for lunch and presented me with a giant red garnet ring. It was far too big for my hand or my taste, but the color was beautiful. At lunch she told me the story of her ring.
After my grandfather Fred passed away she was devastated. In fact in all honestly, I do not believe she ever got over it. I did not know my grandfather, he died when I was just a baby, and my grandmother went on to live many years without him. According to her story the first Valentine's Day after Fred's passing she was feeling miserable, she missed her husband terribly and was lonely. She walked passed a jewelry store that day and made the decision to go inside and buy herself a gift. She picked out this giant red ring, and I believe to her it was a symbol that life would go on.
I loved that ring. Unfortunately, I lost the ring and the other pieces of jewelry she had given me. My small inheritance was in a box that got misplaced while moving from one apartment to another a few years after her passing.
So I no longer have the garnet, but I keep the lesson that I learned close to my heart. Consumerism is grand even when it is for yourself. Especially when it is for yourself!
In all seriousness, every now and then I do purchase myself a special gift, and I think of my grandma Lilly when I do. Most recently, I got a mother/child necklace. I love to wear this little bird family around my neck. I picked it out during my dark days of morning sickness and illness in December and decided...heck I deserved it. I especially like that it is a mama bird with three chicks. My three little chicks. Zachary, Evan and Baby. What could be more beautiful than that?