Some women dream of being presented with a diamond ring from their one true love their entire lives, and that moment is one that they will remember forever. I, too, will never forget my own engagement, nor will I ever forget the second ring that I received from an unexpected source earlier this week. It was not an engagement ring from a high-end jewelry store, but this particular piece of costume jewelry is every bit as special.
It never ceases to amaze me how truly giving and gracious the guys at the day shelter for homeless men where I work are, and I was honored and humbled by the latest gesture of one of our guests. Last Friday, one of the guys and I were talking about Father’s Day, and when I asked if he were a father, he said, “I was, but I’m not anymore.” He said it in a matter-of-fact manner, but a subtle sadness clouded his face. Many of the men are estranged from their families, so, holidays tend to be bittersweet, with more of an emphasis on the bitter than the sweet. We stood in silence for a moment, before he explained, “I had a son who died when we was five.” I extended my sympathies to him and added, “Once you are a dad, you are always a dad, even death can’t change that.” He smiled slightly and nodded in agreement. Then, our conversation ended, but apparently, it was not forgotten.
When I returned from a meeting on Monday, there stood this same man, and he asked if he could talk with me for a minute. When we moved off to the side to talk, he instructed me to close my eyes and hold out my hand, which I did with a bit of trepidation, as I never know what to expect. I did as I was told, and I felt him press a small object into the palm of my right hand, and when I opened my eyes, I saw the ring that is pictured at the beginning of this blog post. I was taken aback and when I looked up and began to explain that I couldn’t keep it and that he should not spend any of his money on me, he was beaming proudly and silenced my protests by saying, “Smiley (his nickname for me),God told me that when you love someone, you should put a ring on it, and because you share your gift with me and always make me smile, I wanted to give you this, and we Pollocks have to stick together.” He further explained that it was not an engagement ring, but he wanted me to have it, as “life is too short to not let people who love you right back know that you love and appreciate them.” I am not someone who owns or wears a lot of jewelry, but I will make sure to have this ring on my finger whenever this man is at the day shelter.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story