I was eleven years old, and my mission in life was to by my mother the best birthday gift possible. Her birthday was coming up, and I was desperate. My grandparents took me to a shopping mall in Houston, and I was determined that I would not leave empty handed. There had to be something in one of the many stores. I had a whopping $15 in my pocket, and I was ready to do a little retail damage.
As we went into one of the many stores that night, there was something that caught my eye. I saw a bracelet that shined like I had never seen anything shine in my life. I walked over to look at this incredible work of art. Surely it was way too far out of my league. I was shocked to learn that it only cost $12. At eleven years old, I wasn’t aware that rhinestones were not the same as diamonds. The necklace was simply a beautiful piece of jewelry and that it was just what I wanted to give to my mother.
I eagerly asked the salesman to wrap up my trinket and was excited that my mom would wear it soon. A feeling of pride swept over me as I paid for the rhinestone necklace. This gift was my idea. My mom would wear the best jewelry that the store had to offer (or so I thought).
When it came time to open the box, my mother immediately placed the jewelry around her neck and proclaimed it to be the most beautiful gift that she had ever received. I thought she looked like a queen. It was even better than I expected. I was very happy with myself, for I gave my mother the best necklace in the whole world!
As the years went by my mom would talk about her special present and smile. I was a little embarrassed as I reflected on my younger self. I know that as an adult, my childhood self did not know the difference between fake jewelry and the real thing. All I knew is that my mom deserved the best that I could give.
Five years ago, almost to the day, my mother died. I still think of her and miss her. I am thankful for the friendship that we forged in my adult years. Not long after she died my sister and I began the arduous task of sorting through her things. I stumbled upon a jewelry box and opened the top. In the box was a beautiful diamond and right next to the amazing stone was a little bag. I unfastened the top of the bag and to my amazement, the little rhinestone necklace that I bought so many years ago fell onto the table.
I immediately teared up as I remembered that brave little boy, eager to give the best that he had so that his mother would smile. All of the sudden the costume jewelry increased in value and surpassed that big old diamond. My necklace contained all of the love that an eleven-year-old heart could muster. Nothing is more priceless than the intention of the heart.
Today I am grateful as I remember my mother this week, and the legacy that she gave to me. I honor her memory every day of my life, as I hope to be the best husband, father, brother, friend, pastor, and the person that I can be. I believe that she is with me each and every day and that her memory continues in love shared with those in need of hope and renewal. Praise God for Ruby Jensen, and her spirit of compassion and joy.