Two nights ago, I posted this message on Facebook at 2:20AM:
I have to be up in three hours but my mind has been racing about a missing piece of jewelry that has profound sentimental value. I have racked my brain. Prayed. Reviewed my every step. Its been missing for over a week. After 90 minutes in bed, frustrated that I could not sleep, I just got up and went to straight to the bathroom sink to check the drain. I found my necklace. So happy. And goodnight!
The next day I had 35 “likes” and 8 comments. My thoughts on Facebook, usually don’t garner that kind of response, so it got me thinking about the value of a gift.
The necklace was given to me by Matt (for those who don’t know, Matt Kell was my first husband who died of cancer 12/25/05), and the following letter is what gives this simple piece of jewelry its value:
October 9, 2005
This is truly a gift from my heart. Promise me that you’ll wear it (at least) every Sunday to:
- Remember what Christ did for you
- Remember the faith is the under girding of our marriage
- Remember me
I am so blessed by the Lord to have you sent to me. You have enriched my life in innumerable ways. Your tireless love for me and the kids is inspirational and a tremendous witness to your faith. The way the Holy Spirit has lit up your spiritual life is apparent to everyone. It fills me with joy to see that in you and it helps to confirm my faith. I can’t express how important that has been to me when I am facing an uncertain future.
This gift is a small (?) way of thanking you for putting up with me, sick or healthy and for being a tremendous witness in the midst of hardship and suffering.
Lord willing, I hope to have the chance to get you a gift for our 14th anniversary. If I do, I promise it won’t be this nice.
I love you so much it hurts (in my back and my abdomen mostly).
During the week the necklace was missing, I struggled with my longing to find the necklace and the possibility of having to simply let it go. I was focused on this missing “thing” to the point of distraction, and then I became distracted by the fact that I was so focused on a missing object.
Sentimental value is defined as the value of an article in terms of its sentimental associations for a particular person. The cost of the necklace is not the same as the value. My heart ached at the thought of losing it and there is no price tag for that.
Stick with me here, because my “sentimental value” response to my missing necklace really got me thinking about the value of relationships…
Losing the cross necklace felt like losing Matt just a little bit more. But, how can you lose someone who has already been dead for nearly 6 years? In literal terms, you can’t. The cross necklace is a means of remembering Matt and symbolic of the value of his place in my life. Somehow, without it, it seems like he slips away from me just a little more. I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to let him slip.
Can the same can be said for the relationships we have with the living? So often, we lose people who are right in front of us. We let our wedding rings symbolically lose their luster. Relationships slip down the drain because we forget to regard each other, even though we live together every day. We easily diminish the value of people in our life.
My missing necklace made me realize the value of the present moment with the people we love. Pulling a lost relationship out of the drain will likely take more than a week and a few sleepless nights. With prayer and sacrifice, do whatever it takes to find, rediscover, or polish up your lost relationships. Your spouse, brother, sister, friend… aren’t these worth much more than a piece of jewelry?
I’m certain that my personal relief, and the celebratory response I received to finding my beautiful necklace, can’t compare to the redeeming joy of a restored relationship!