Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I mentioned recently that I enjoy giving jewelry to people who do not expect it, just for being them! I enjoy and appreciate having them in my life for the many laughs, comfort and joy they give ME!

I gave this bracelet to a former boss last week because I think she is SO special in many ways. Not to mention, she is one of the most charitable people I know, if not THE most charitable.

It has nothing to do with her thoughts of moral character, it is just in her genetic makeup, she doesn't think about it, she just does it. That is what I think is so special! (Thanks Joy, for being you)!

The day after I gave Joy this bracelet, she sent me this photo of a tree branch she found on a walk and wanted to use in the house in some way. She decided to use it to hold her jewelry and when she sent this to me, she stopped by my desk to let me know that she thought just about all the pieces on it were things I made for her. Aww, that is so cool. I didn't realize I had made her so many things, but it just goes to show how much she means to me!

I recently asked if anyone else had a story they wanted to share and received these two below. Thank you so much Christine & Lori for sharing these heartfelt and meaningful stories on this Thanksgiving Day! :)

From Christine Ritchey:
First, what a great idea to tell stories about jewelry and thankfulness! My story isn't specifically about your topic, but it's still a pretty nifty story.

My dad was a B-17 pilot in World War II. He was shot down twice. The second time he was shot down, it was over Germany and when he parachuted from the plane, he was met by a German soldier. Uh oh! The soldier marched him back to his camp, where Dad became a POW. Dad was wearing a pinky ring with a beautiful diamond in it - a gift from his mother. Naturally, the Germans took his watch and ring. Incredibly, when the war ended, one of the German officers gave Dad's ring back to him.

The diamond in this ring became my mother's engagement ring. I inherited Mom's wedding rings after her death. Two Thanksgivings ago, having no children of my own, I presented the ring to my niece and let my dad tell her the story. My niece was so happy to have the ring that she cried buckets!

And that's my story! Happy Thanksgiving...Christine Ritchey

This isn’t really about making jewelry for family or friends, but more about the accidental giving that means a lot to me. This story is one that sticks with me and makes me happy whenever I think about it.

I was doing a show at the beach, and it was very early in the morning when I was setting up. A man in ragged clothes, carrying a backpack on his back, smelling like he’d been sleeping on the streets for a while, came into my booth. He had wild hair and was dirty but his eyes sparkled and he had a great smile. He started chatting with me, looking at my jewelry that was on the table, and started telling me about how he was a Vietnam vet, living on the streets, traveling the beaches where it was warm.

He said, “Let me ask you something.”

I figured he was going to ask for money, so I reached for my bag to give him something.

He asked, “Do you like veterans?”

I told him I WAS a veteran, and was married to a retired Chief Master Sergeant.

“Well maybe you can do something for me,” he said.

I started reaching for my wallet again.

But no.

He picked up a necklace I’d made. It had a dichroic glass heart in purple and red, with purple pearls.

“Can I have this?” he asked. “I got a Purple Heart in Vietnam, but I lost it.”

I put the necklace around his neck, he squeezed my arm in thanks, and he walked out of the booth whistling a tune.

I just stood there, stunned, touched, and tearful.

I’m thankful that I didn’t react like many may have, shooing him out of my booth. I’m thankful that I’d made something that he’d deemed a good substitute for the medal he’d won and lost.

I’ll never forget that man, that necklace, or that morning.


I LOVE color! said...

Oh my gosh what wonderful stories.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Happy Thanksgiving Lisa! What beautiful and touching stories. All three of them. The fact that jewelry was linked to stories of giving, is not surprising at all. Jewelry is one of those things that are a celebration of beauty and meant to be given. Mostly as a gift for others but sometimes as a gift for yourself. It's been that way ever since the first cave woman draped a shell necklace around the neck of the man that brought her food!