With Valentine's Day fast approaching, it got me to thinking about all the little things that connect us to the ones we love. This Sunday, we will exchange special gifts, and most likely overindulge in chocolate (there is a good reason that the Aztecs considered it the food of the Gods!) However, amid all the flutter of heart-shaped cards and rose-colored corsets, I began musing on some of the unexpected gifts we get in life, all the more beautiful for their appearing out of nowhere.
So, here’s a short love story.
I was an only daughter, so my mom and I had a special bond, and a shared love of art and books brought us even closer together. As a child, I was already captivated by historical stories, and loved reading about medieval jousts and knights in armor. So it’s no wonder that from an early age, I was fascinated by her beautiful gold signet ring. Engraved with her family’s crest, it had been a gift from her father on her eighteenth birthday. I loved that ring . . . and she used to smile at me and say, “Someday it will be yours.” Over the years, there were various birthdays where we planned to have one made for me, but somehow we never got around to it.
It’s been nearly two years since my mom passed away, and that signet ring is one of my treasured mementos. It sat in my jewelry box for a long time, a bit too small to fit on my finger. Then, this past summer I finally decided to have it re-sized so that I could wear it. I chose to take it to a small shop in New Haven. CT, a bit of a drive for me, because I remembered my mother telling me that the proprietor was a artisan goldsmith who had done a lovely alteration on one of her other rings. I didn’t want to trust my heirloom to just anyone, so off I went.
Derek was there that afternoon, and he listened patiently as I explained my ring's sentimental value and asked him to take great care with it. He looked it over for a moment, and his brow rose a notch. “I remember your mother,” he said. A pause. “She got very mad at me.”
“Yes,” he went on. “She commissioned me to make a ring similar to one she had bought in Turkey. She brought me detailed sketches, and I made a prototype. But then somehow I lost it.” Another pause. “She was not pleased.”
Now, my mother did have a strong personality. And if you said you were going to do something, she took you to task if you didn’t come through.
“So she ended up canceling the order,” he finished.
I smiled. “Well, let’s let bygones be bygones. She thought you were a wonderful craftsman.”
A funny expression crept over his face. “Wait here for a moment,” he said, and then disappeared into the back of his shop. Sounds of rustling and rummaging floated out from behind the half-closed door. Several minutes later he reemerged and opened his hand to reveal a wink of silver. “I found this the other day—it’s the ring your mother designed.”
Staring down at his palm, I blinked again.
“It’s not finished yet,” he murmured. “But if you want it, I can go ahead . . .”
Did I want it? In a heartbeat!
So now I have another ring connecting me to my mother, all the more special because I never expected it. As I turned to leave the shop, another woman who was perusing the cases came up to me and said that she couldn’t help overhearing us, and thought it was one of the nicest stories she had ever heard.
I smiled and told her that I was a romance writer . . . But that not even I could have made it up.
So, that’s my love story. How about you? Any unexpected moments in your life or little love stories that have made your heart sing?