The lost is found, and a Seriously Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pictured is a tiny little diamond, 1/4 carat set in a little gold open heart with a delicate gold chain.

What could possibly be written about such a common item you may ask? To the rest of the world it may appear to be an item of little value, but to me it is very precious because it’s the first diamond my husband ever gave me. Well, truth be told, he actually sent me two $150 money orders back in 1966 when he was enjoying cruising the Mediterranean on a huge ship. I know it sounds really glamorous for him, but he wasn’t a rich playboy enjoying the highlife. He was an underpaid government employee in the United States Navy on a destroyer tender, the USS Cascade. While he was cruising the high seas, I was living in Minneapolis typing my fingers to the bone as a secretary. Jerry and I had met on June 30, 1966 and dated the summer months of July and August. He was living in Minneapolis a short time because the US Navy had sent him to Univac school to learn more about the computer world.  After those few months, he received orders to go overseas. He invited me to his home in Madison, Indiana to meet the parents, but he still hadn’t declared love for me (which he now denies) or talked very much about the future other than his goal to earn $10K a year after his military stint. After his ship left the port in Newport Rhode Island, weeks and weeks went by, and I didn’t hear from him. Feeling jilted and believing that maybe sailors really did have a girl in every port, I wrote him a letter advising that I was dating other fellas and he could go jump in the ocean. I guess it just didn’t dawn on me that daily mail delivery didn’t take place on ships in the middle of the vast seas. When he finally reached a port where mail caught up with the crew, he purchased the money orders and sent them to me with a letter imploring (or begging) me to please stop dating other guys and buy myself an engagement ring. So I dressed up, fit to kill, in nylons,  and one of my best dresses and took the city bus to Dayton Hudson’s (now Macy’s) in downtown Minneapolis, waltzed in and informed the first person I encountered that I wanted to buy an engagement ring. I’m sure they thought I was Looney Tunes until I explained my almost fiancé was in the Navy stationed on a ship somewhere in the Mediterranean. Ring with itty bitty diamond was purchased, and Jerry finally returned to the States in April ‘67. We were married on July 1, one year from the day we met.

Quite a few years later I decided I didn’t approve of diamonds because of reports I had read about the mistreatment of children used as slaves in the mining of diamonds, so I petitioned my beloved for a plain wedding band. However, I could never part with that precious little diamond so we eventually had it made into the necklace pictured here. We made many moves over the years, and I didn’t have the heart to tell Jerry that I lost the necklace a few years ago during a move. It recently resurfaced in the most unlikely place, one of my jewelry boxes hiding behind a cheap clunky necklace!! The lost was found and I rejoiced! To most people it would seem an inexpensive trinket, but to me it’s a beautiful symbol of the love Jerry and I have shared for almost 53 years. He’s my funny, loving Valentine who is going to prepare a Valentine dinner for me and one of my friends whose husband is no longer living. This writing is a tribute to my Valentine and to wonderful men all over the world (some of the best gone on to Heaven).  Our marriage has certainly not been all sunshine, lollipops and roses, but I know God in His infinite wisdom brought Jerry into my life, and I’m SERIOUSLY thankful for his love and patience these many years.

I pray each of you reading this has the special love of spouse, other family and/or dear friends. Please enjoy a happy and blessed Valentines’s Day!

17 Comments

  1. Peggy Ellis

    Oh Char, how beautiful, heartwarming, and (as usual) funny. I wish your Valentines Day is filled with laughs, memories and loads of good food cooked by the fabulous ex-sailor. Tell him I also worked on UNIVAC computers – while in the Air Force in the early 70s. Small world.

    (in the language of love)
    Bonne Saint Valentin `a toi et `a toi

  2. Glenda

    What a great love story, you’re well chosen to be in partnership for a long time! Your writing helps me appreciate my/our marriage and the rich lessons we have been through together! Thanks for sharing on this Valentine’s Day❤️❤️
    Glenda

  3. Karen

    What a beautiful picture of you two. Wow our lives almost crossed years ago. My husband and I lived in Minneapolis in 1966 and 1967. My husband was actually a computer programmer and worked for GE in downtown Minneapolis. And Al was in the Navy as well. I am so glad you found your necklace. Keepsakes are precious. This was a great story.

  4. Linda Schwartz

    What a great story! I’m so glad you found the necklace! I do have a wonderful, caring husband who I met going home in a car for Thanksgiving
    break from Ohio State in 1961. We were married on September 1, 1962, and
    we have been happily married for 57 years, now.

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