A STONE. A STONE. A SPARKLING STONE.
A Stone. A Stone. A Sparkling Stone.
His death comes too soon to set the stone, and so for seven decades beneath hand-stitched quilts the stone lays in her cedar chest alongside his eyeglasses, shattered in the crash, his dress Marine uniform and the folded flag.
Left with two young daughters and an infant son born after his father’s passing, the jeweler’s wife, an artist, cherishes the stone intended for her golden wedding band crafted by her husband.
This sparkling treasure is left to the artist’s eldest daughter who keeps the stone in her mother’s cedar chest to be remembered when family legends and lore are shared at holiday gatherings. While the two sisters marry and make families, for years and years the artist’s son, grown to be a painter, comes to the family festivities without a wife or offspring. This year is to be different. For the boy who never knew his father has found a woman to love, to honor, to marry and bring to his family gatherings.
Thrice he’s asked his love to marry him. Thrice she’s responded, “Oh, I want to. Please ask me again.” Surely four times will be enough when with his asking he offers up a suitable token.
The artist man visits his eldest sister. He asks if he might have the sparkling stone to place in the wedding band he’ll design for his bride. The elder sister says, “Yes! I will give you the stone as a wedding gift.”
The man asks his beloved to come to his sister’s house. She does. He shows her the box. She raises the lid. There, like a glistening moon, the stone sparkles before her tear-filled eyes. She’s heard the story and understands the meaning—the great meaning of this treasure held in her quivering hands.
The man and woman dine at a fine restaurant. He orders champagne and places on the candlelit table the stone in the open box. Leaving his seat, he kneels beside his beloved. For a fourth time, he asks, “Will you marry me and be my wife forever?” Smiling, smiling, she says “Yes! Oh, yes!”
As the stone sparkles beside them, they kiss for all to see.