Charm Bracelet

Friday, June 15, 2012

In the process of packing for our upcoming move I came across a pretty little black box that we have had for Rylee since she was born. Inside it contains a charm bracelet, a very expensive precious charm bracelet. Along the silver chain, it has four different colored pearls along with yellow and rose gold tone charms. Our long term plan is to replace a few of the charms with different stones to give it some more variety, and for more reasons that you will understand when you read on.

I told Sevio I wanted to get a charm bracelet for Rylee which all stemmed back to an article in a magazine I read way back when I was going to school in Alberta (2008-2009), I ripped it out then and I have actually been holding on to it ever since! To me it was the neatest/creative twist on a what we know as a "purity ring" and I think it holds a little more meaning then the standard ring. So for reasons beyond my knowledge, 4 years ago I dreamed of having a daughter that I could raise up with values to honour and respect others but also that she would know she is precious and valuable. And now the time is here, I have a daughter, and I'm excited in 16 years we will give this precious bracelet to our precious baby girl.

Below you can read the article that has been following me around for the past 4 years. . . I know it's a tad long but it's worth it . . . I PROMISE!

The Charm Bracelet . . .  
"Sweet 16 had finally come! My parents threw the birthday party of the century. The whole day had been awesome. But as I watched the sun begin to set, I knew the best part was soon to come.

It was late in the evening as I sat by my window, Dad peeked into my room with a smile.
"Ready to go, Sweetie?" he asked.
Was that a trick question? I wondered as I scrambled to my feet. I'd been waiting for this night for five long years, and it was finally here! I was now offically allowed to date!

The plan was for my parents and me to go to my favorite restaurant on the night of my 16th birthday and officiate the agreement, go over standards and discuss rules and such. I sat across from my parents and having placed our orders I figured it was time to get on with it. "So. I can go out with any guy I want to, right?" hardly able to contain my excitement.

Dad answered, "Well, we agreed to that, didn't we?"
"Sweet!" I exclaimed, doing a little victory dance in my seat. My parents held me off for years, but now that time had come, they would let me date any guy I wanted!
"Now wait just a second," Mom interrupted with a smile. "You have to agree to a little something yourself."
I expected a lecture of some sort, "What do I have to do now?" I asked.
"Just open this," Dad answered, producing a small white box. He gave me a mysterious smile.

One Little Rule
I hesitated a moment before removing the curly pink ribbon. I slowly opened the lid and saw a beautiful silver bracelet. But not just any bracelet. It was a charm bracelet. And they weren't just any charms. They were gemstones, small but gorgeous. A dozen dainty charms dangled gently.
"Wow." I didn't know what else to say. I wasn't expecting this at all.
"Now you have to understand this isn't just any bracelet," Mom informed me.
"I know," I said. "It's so beautiful!" There were six small charms alternating with six tinier ones. The smaller ones were a deep blue. Sapphires, I guessed. And the other six were each different. One appeared to be just a rock, one was pink, a white one, a red one, green . . . and was that a diamond?

"This charm bracelet is symbolic," Dad explained, "It represents you and your purity. This is what will guide you through your dating relationships. Your mother and I can only tell you what's right. We can't make you believe it yourself. Hopefully, this will."
I looked up solemnly. "I'm listening."
"This represents the first time you hold a guy's hand," Mom said, pointing at the gray one. "It's just a piece of polished granite. Seemingly cheap, yes, but it's still a part of your bracelet. This is pink quartz." She gently rubbed the next one between her fingers. "It represents your first kiss."
"This green one is emerald," Dad continued. "This is your first boyfriend. The pearl is the first time you say "I love you to a man other than me."
I giggled. This was amazing.
"The ruby stands for your first engagement. And the diamond represents the first time you say 'I do,'" Mom finished.

After letting it all sink in, I cleared my emotion-clogged throat. "What do the six tiny sapphires stand for?" I asked.
"Those are to remind you how beautiful and valuable you are to us and God," Dad replied. 

"Now here's the hitch in all this, the one and only rule you'll ever have to follow when it comes to dating."
Only one rule. Sounded good. But little did I know . . .
"Whenever you give one of these actions of love --a kiss, an 'I love you,' a hand to hold--you also have to give the recipient the gem to match."
I must've misunderstood. "I have to give him the gem?"
"You have to give it to him," Mom restated.
I was silent for a moment. I thought they must be joking. But they weren't even thinking of cracking a smile.
"But Daddy!" I shrieked. "These are insanely expensive! I can't just give them away!"
He gave a soft, loving chuckle. "Did you hear what you just said?"
"Baby, your purity, your heart, they're far more valuable than a few little rocks. If you can't find it in your heart to give away your little charms, I don't think you should be giving away the things they represent."
I could feel my insides melting, ready to gush out my tear ducts. On the one hand, it made me feel valuable and precious. But on the other, it made me furious. It made no sense. But it would.

Priceless Gems
A few weeks after that night, I was hanging out with my friends at the beach. Chad wouldn't swim because I wouldn't swim. I was more interested in reading than getting caked with sand, and he was more interested in sitting with me than swimming with his buddies. He was sweet. He was cute. And he tried to hold my hand.

I was thrilled for a nanosecond when a certain piece of ugly granite flashed through my mind an made me move out of his reach. I was severely annoyed--annoyed at my parents, annoyed at my bracelet-turned-handcuffs, but most of all, annoyed at myself. I was letting a little rock dominate my romantic life. 

I furiously glared at it during the whole embarrassing walk to the bathroom. But then God hit me upside the head with a shocking epiphany. I couldn't give up my little chunk of granite. It was a part of my bracelet, which in a sense made it a part of me. I wouldn't be whole without it. It wasn't a priceless gem, yet it was still valuable. It made sense after that.

Kevin eventually came along. we had fun. We hung out a lot. I thought I might love him. I thought I might tell him so. I thought of my pearl. It turned out that I didn't love him as much as I thought I did. 

So my parent had been right. They couldn't make me believe the things they wanted me to believe. So they let God and my bracelet do the work instead. Among the four of them, I figured out how valuable I was. How valuable my purity was. How not valuable guys were who just wasted my time and emotions.  

If they weren't in it for the whole bracelet, why should they get one part of it?

Nate, He thought my bracelet was awesome. So he never tried to hold my hand. He never tried to kiss me. But he asked me to marry him.

I never knew that so many years of torture could amount to so much happiness. I'd thought it was silly. I'd thought it was overrated. But now, I've never been more glad of anything in my life. As I gave my husband the charm bracelet in its entirety, I wonder why I had found it so hard to hang on to those little rocks when it was so amazing to give them all to the man I truly loved. 

But it didn't end there. Now our daughter wears it."
(Published by Brio Magazine April 2008)

1 comment:

  1. That is AMAZING!!! Really really love this idea and will probably steal it. Wow. Very neat story. Thanks for sharing.


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