I have a ring that is priceless.
I wore it last night to a concert and wearing it again reminded me of just how valuable it is.
It turns my finger green every time I wear it. It has to be resized by pinching it and is slowly losing it's ruby luster because the paint is wearing off after only four uses. It is admittedly the gawdiest thing one could ever put eyes on but it is the story on how it came to be in my possession that gives it its value.
This last Christmas, I found my seven year old rummaging through couch cushions, doing odd jobs for pay and hunting the streets and parking lots for coinage. I didn't think much of it since his older brothers had been earning money and keeping track as part of a good natured sibling rivalry. He has always wanted to be one of the 'big boys'.
But on the last day of school before Christmas vacation, he came to me and begged for a loan explaining that he needed to get something special at the Christmas Market being held at his school. I smiled and pulled out a couple of dollar bills wondering what his latest urgency might come home in the form of. A pack of sports cards? Another toy car? One could only wonder.
But that night under the tree appeared a small brown sack meticulously decorated with childish scrawl amongst some other rather hastily wrapped presents. I thought nothing more of it until Christmas morning when he proudly set the brown bag on my lap and waited with anticipation for me to open his gift. I noted with interest that his small face seemed to hold a mixture of angst and excitement as I picked up the bag.
Inside was a black velvet box housing the monstrosity I mentioned before. I looked at my son and seeing his need for acceptance for his offering, I wrapped my arms around him and told him how much I loved his gift.
He then pulled his little body away relaxing a bit and gushed, "I am soooo glad. I saved my money all year for the Christmas Store but when Anthony moved here and didn't have any money for his family, I gave him mine. I couldn't buy the big presents I wanted to buy you and Dad."
Antonio (Anthony) was a Latin boy who had just emigrated to the states. His family had very little money and what they did have, they'd spent on entering the country legally. My son had wanted to make sure that Anthony and his family had a good Christmas and so had sacrificed the fruits of his labors to ensure that end. He'd then worked overtime and scrambled to have enough to buy something for me and his dad.
After realizing the sacrifice of my small child and the angst he'd been through trying to provide a nice gift for me, my ring suddenly had more luster than the Hope Diamond. It represents the love of a son, a child's simple faith, the pureness of charity toward those less fortunate and all that is right in the world.
And to me, his mother, that makes my ring priceless.