To celebrate the first anniversary of when I met my wife (for the second time — there’s a story there), I presented her with a silver charm bracelet from a quaint little jeweler I found in New York called Tiffany. We were already engaged to be married and we knew we wanted to have a large family, certainly as many children as God would send our way. My mom has a beautiful gold charm bracelet that features one charm for each of her sixteen children (fifteen charms since my twin sister and I share one plus one for their wedding date). Of all the jewelry my mother owns I have always admired this piece and my hope was that, if my wife didn’t hate it, we could make a similar tradition out of this piece.
We got married and I, of little means just starting out as a teacher, put off getting the wedding charm. Nine months later our son was born and I added a blue lollipop. Then I went back and bought a charm in the shape of the trademarked Tiffany & Co. blue box. This one, I thought, was suitable as a belated wedding charm. It represented the fact that her engagement ring and this bracelet had come from the legendary shop. Unfortunately, on a business trip to Toronto, the charm was lost. You see, Tiffany had just started making charms that could be clipped onto the bracelet (as opposed to being soldered on) and somehow this charm had come undone while my wife was in a meeting and was lost for good. A few months later our daughter was born and I added a pink cupcake. At that time I replaced the wedding charm with a charm shaped like a lock with the letter “H” (for Harvey, or “ha”) carved out of the middle. This time I was smart and sent the whole bracelet out to be soldered.
As time went by we moved to Texas and as yet have not been blessed with any new children. But God has His plans and we soldier on.
For our fifth wedding anniversary I went on a mission, searching for gifts made of wood. Believe it or not, that’s the traditional anniversary gift for five. Well, I think I’m a pretty classy guy; and wood’s kind of cheap. So I compromised. Why should not having had another baby be an impediment to adding charms, I thought? The cross is the symbol of our faith and they’re usually made of wood. So I gave her a silver cross charm. Again, we made the trip to Tiffany and sent the whole thing out to be soldered. For the record, that is now twice this bracelet has made its way to Jackson Heights in Queens, NY — home of Tiffany’s jewelry design studios. I wonder who gets the miles for all of that…
Now just a few days ago I wrote a post about how down in the dumps I was about living in Texas. I hope everyone who had a chance to read that piece understands that there was no malice intended toward this place I now call home. No, I was simply venting about having to go back to work after a two month vacation and having to deal with the Texas heat (and the lack of a DVR, hint) that have made my time here a little less than ideal. Nonetheless, I certainly don’t hate Texas. Other than the weather I really like the place. I love my in-laws (see the picture of the “duck” charm below). Sure, I’d like for my kids to be able to recognize some of my brothers and sisters eventually but such is life and I’m thankful for where I am right now — with my wife and kids in a beautiful house with a good job and many comforts.
My wife, on the other hand, wasn’t too amused with my post and texted me on my first day of work to tell me so. So I spent the morning praying, you know, between meetings and Smartboard training. “Heavenly Father, please help me find a way to show my wife I don’t hate Texas.”
I left work and headed to Tiffany to pick up the bracelet. It had just returned from Queens with the cross soldered and the whole thing had been shined up like new. The sales associate, a lovely young woman named Heather, struck up a conversation with me. I told her of my career as a teacher and the story of the bracelet. When I got to the part about the lost box charm she put her hand up as if to interrupt me. I could tell she wasn’t trying to be rude so I paused to allow her to speak. “That shouldn’t have happened,” she said. “Oh, I know. We should have had it soldered,” I replied. “No, although we advise our customers to solder their charms, we stand by our work and a Tiffany charm should not have come off. I’d like to offer you a replacement charm,” she said with a straight face. I took a deep breath. Then I looked her right in the eye and said: “For reals, playa?” (or something like that). Having determined her sincerity I took her up on the offer and we headed to a counter in the showroom. While I was looking down at the very same blue box that had been lost, a glint of light caught my attention. I shifted my eyes over a few rows and there it was. “It” was a cowboy boot.
“That’s the one,” I said to Heather. And like that God’s answer to my prayer was made manifest to me in the kindness of a jewelry clerk and the impeccable customer service of one of the world’s foremost silversmiths.
My wife was duly impressed (especially that I hadn’t spent anything).
I was flabbergasted at how perfectly the day turned out.
And tomorrow morning, guess what gets to board its fourth flight to LaGuardia!