Some time ago, a group of ladies who regularly gather for lunch invited me to join them, despite the fact I am 20 years their junior. When I arrived, one of them whispered in my ear, "I need to speak to you privately after lunch."
Feeling like a kid who had been summoned to the principal's office after class, I wondered what I might have done wrong or maybe even had failed to do that I didn't realize at the time. I could hardly eat.
Eventually, as the other guests said goodbye, my friend motioned with her head for me to join her around the corner in a vacant room. I stood silently, waiting for the shoe to drop.
"You probably don't realize this, Rebecca," she said. Yep, I thought. Here we go... "I have a daughter about your age from whom I've been estranged for nearly 15 years. And ever since I've known you, you have hugged me every time I see you. Initially, these hugs were source of great pain and irritation because they reminded me of the relationship which I desperately wanted, but did not have, with my own daughter.
"Over the years, however, a curious thing happened," she explained. "My heart began to soften and I actually started looking forward to those hugs. What started as a source of pain and irritation was layered with love until it finally became a thing of beauty in my life."
With that, my friend reached into her purse and pulled out a small black velvet drawstring pouch, which she pressed into my hand. Eyes now brimming with tears, she continued, "I want you to have these pearls as a token of my appreciation. When you look at them, remember that each pearl started as a source of pain and irritation to an oyster, but was gradually covered over until it became a thing of beauty. And if you ever get to a place in your life where you are nursing pain and irritation, I want you to put on these pearls, look at yourself in the mirror and remember that like this strand of pearls, we are bonded together by the beauty and bounty of love, which never fails."
When not on the road, Rebecca manages Four Seasons String Quartet, the group with whom she plays cello for weddings and special events.
Luxury markets with special emphasis on arts and culture, wellness and soft adventure--especially fishing. Anytime. Anywhere.
- University of Louisiana at MonroeLiberal Arts