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The Broken Diamond

 

These are the diamonds I inherited, said the customer. I want them combined into a magnificent piece of jewelry. All except this diamond. It's broken. I don't even know why it was kept with the good jewelry in the first place. If it were perfect, I'd keep it, of course. But it's not. It's broken. So I don't want it. Do whatever you want with it.

And with that, the broken diamond was carelessly tossed on the jewelers counter. The jeweler glanced at the broken diamond, then gently set it aside.

At the end of the day the jeweler picked up the broken stone and looked at it more closely.

The diamond was indeed damaged.

But there was a certain something about that broken stone that still held the jewelers eye.

Perhaps that's why the original owner kept it safely in her jewelry box for all those years. How could anyone not appreciate the luminous beauty that still burned so brightly within that diamond, the jeweler wondered?

It's the same with people, the jeweler mused. Children can arrive broken too. In this world there are children who are born with Autism, with Down's Syndrome, with Cerebral Palsy. There are so very many things that can suddenly go wrong, and for no apparent reason. Worse, there are so many people who can't begin to see the worth in these children. Families who would just as soon toss their less than perfect children away, without ever really understanding the life and the joy that continues to glow within them.

And then the jeweler thought...But if those children are treated gently and surrounded by love, their true worth, the beauty of their very souls can shine, for all the world to see.

The jeweler picked up the broken diamond again. To me you are very beautiful my little friend. I will surround you with light and I will give you the care you deserve. And then, perhaps we'll see who among us is able to recognize your true worth.

The jeweler worked long into the night and by the time the sun came up the broken stone had become the centerpiece of what was earlier a beautifully engraved, but otherwise plain antique gold locket. The broken diamond had been set in the center, and was now surrounded by many smaller diamonds.

The jeweler smiled and spoke aloud to the broken diamond. Alright my little friend. You now have a stable home and you can consider yourself surrounded by a circle of love.

The sparkling locket was placed in a luxurious suede box, which joined the other pieces of jewelry in the wonderfully glittering showcase.

Day after day, customer after customer admired the locket and commented on how amazingly beautiful it was, but when the jeweler handed them a magnifying glass and told them to look at it more closely and showed them that the center diamond was broken, most said they only wanted something perfect.

Never mind little one, the jeweler said to the locket, as each box was being packed away in the big safe every night at closing time. The right person will recognize how special you are.

One day a lovely young woman who was wheeling a child's stroller came into the jewelers store. She looked at the shimmering pieces in each of the showcases but nothing seemed to capture her attention.

All at once her eyes lit up.

Is that a locket? she asked, pointing. The jeweler nodded.

That's the most beautiful locket I've ever seen! she whispered to herself.

May I see it please? she asked.

The jeweler took the box containing the locket out of the showcase and handed it to the young mother, while explaining about the broken diamond.

But it's so incredibly beautiful, the young woman sighed, as she admired the locket, I look at this and I don't see any damage, I see only the beauty. And look! she exclaimed with delight, as she opened the locket, There are two frames! I could put pictures of both my husband and my children inside it!

Suddenly, the handsome little boy in the stroller made a sound. Not a word exactly, but a sound that obviously conveyed meaning to his mother. The woman immediately knelt down and gave him her full attention. After calming him, she gently and lovingly stroked his face.

The jeweler looked at the little boy. What's his name? the jeweler inquired.

As she told the jeweler the little boy's name, she smiled happily at her son.

It wasn't as though anything was immediatedly apparent, it was more intuition than anything else that led the jeweler to look more closely at the little boy. After a moment the jeweler understood that this was a special child, who had been been blessed with a mother who recognized the beauty of his soul.

The child's mother stood and turned back to the jeweler. I already know I can't afford this, but please tell me how much it is anyway.

The jeweler checked the tag and told her the price. Ouch!, she sighed, as she reluctantly handed the box back. I'm afraid it's way out of my price range, she smiled ruefully, but thank you so very much for showing it to me. There's just something...something about that locket that reaches right into my heart and calls to me.

The jeweler smiled and replied, You have a good eye for beauty.

Thank you, she laughed.

As the woman turned to go, the jeweler thought for a moment. Leave us your name and address and we'll drop you a note if this piece happens to go on sale. Perhaps your husband will stop by one day and tell us he's decided it would make the perfect gift.

I can always dream, the young woman laughed, as she wrote the requested information on a little card.

There had been so much interest in the beautiful locket that the jeweler knew it would sell very soon. Nevertheless, it was now carefully set aside in a corner of the big safe and never returned to the showcase for sale.

One day a man came into the store and told the jeweler he was looking for something very special for his wife, because he thought his wife was very special herself.

The jeweler smiled and invited the young man to share his thoughts.

Tell me why she's special.

The man spoke with pride and love about his wife, and his little girl, and about their very special little boy. She must be very special indeed, the jeweler said.

And what are your children's names? the jeweler inquired, and the man told him.

The jeweler asked the man to wait a moment, telling him that perhaps the perfect gift might just be sitting in the big safe.

A moment later the locket was placed on the counter as the jeweler dutifully explained about the broken diamond.

The man picked up the box to get a better look.

I don't see any damage, the man said softly, as he examined the locket, I see only beauty.

It was very clear to the jeweler that this family would forever appreciate the beauty and the sparkling life that shone so brightly in the little broken diamond.

The jeweler had already seen first hand how much the pretty young woman and her husband loved and appreciated their special little boy.

This is wonderful locket, the man sighed. It would make my wife so very happy. How much is it? he asked.

And the jeweler told him.

That price simply can't be right! said the man in surprise. Don't get me wrong, he said, with a winsome smile and a twinkle in his eye, I'd be thrilled if that really was the price, but I know it can't be. You'd be giving it away at that price, and I don't want to cheat you.

The jeweler just smiled. No, you won't be cheating me. It's just so happens that your timing was perfect. This locket just went on sale.

Wow! the man said in amazement. He marveled at his good fortune while the jeweler finished gift wrapping his purchase.

Thank you so much! My wife will absolutely fall in love with this locket! he called to the jeweler as he cheerfully headed out the door.

The jeweler smiled and silently thought, She already has, son.


The Broken Diamond - by Cynthia Gurin - Copyright 2001 - All Rights Reserved

For Kyle's mommy. With love.

About the Author:

Cynthia Gurin lives in South Florida with her husband Bob, a quartet of cats, two dogs, a remarkably wise duck, and a bear or two. She has achieved recognition in both the Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal for innovative marketing techniques. She considers the Personal Ad, through which she met her husband, to be her most rewarding literary endeavor. She holds a senior corporate position in the real world. Send Mail

For other stories by Cynthia Gurin:
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