Monday, July 22, 2013

When Bling is About More Than the Sparkle

Photo credit: Kelsey Rath
I admired her bracelet from across the table…the shades of light blue and how the stones caught the light. I complimented its beauty.

“Oh, thank you,” she said smiling, “Courtesy of Wal-Mart.” I was captured by her humor and honesty.

I’d only just met her. Generations and states separated us. But as she shared personal stories of being a World War II war bride, moving from Britain to a small Midwest town, and raising a daughter and two sons, I was fascinated—drawn in by the history being shared.

My pre-teen daughter, Kelsey, listened politely. Having been that age once, I imagine she was wondering when we could leave. I think Eileen remembered being that age too.

She looked at Kelsey and said, “Honey, you look bored.”

We both froze. Kelsey because she probably thought she was busted, and me because a mom always feels her child’s behavior reflects back on her.

But in that split second, Eileen continued, “And I don’t blame you.”

Those five simple words put us both at ease and kept any tension from settling in the room.

We continued to listen and I couldn’t help but think of the history the American Girl dolls and books portray. Kelsey loved them, but as with anything, she’s growing up and moving on to other interests.

But history—she’s always loved history, and I thought this would be the connection.

We didn’t overstay our welcome and soon prepared to leave.

As we said our goodbyes, Eileen slipped the lovely blue bracelet from her wrist. Earlier, she’d given Kelsey a small hedgehog figurine as a keepsake, with a tidbit of history to go with it.

Now, she handed me her bracelet and said, “You should have a souvenir, too.”

I didn’t want to take it, but she insisted. “I can get another one,” she said. “And you need some bling.”

I laughed and told her my bling was sitting at home.

I thanked her and accepted her gift. And I think of Eileen every time I look at it.

Because sometimes bling isn’t about the sparkle—it’s about how someone touched your life.

And my daughter, who had looked bored?

She asked if we can see her again next time…before we even left town.

In Christ,


  1. This story truly warmed my heart today. Thank you for sharing!

  2. This was beautiful, Laura. So beautifully said..."Because sometimes bling isn’t about the sparkle—it’s about how someone touched your life." Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is a great story! I like hearing how your daughter wanted to go back too. Sometimes our kids surprise us in delightful ways when they throw out something like that. :-) Enjoy your bling.

  4. Wonderful story, Laura! It's the simple things in life, like taking your daughter to visit a friend, that are often remembered and cherished the most.


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