Last weekend, my husband and I drove to Terrell, Texas to talk with the owners of a gift shop there about carrying my books. Along the way, we stopped at a Jack in the Box fast food restaurant to use the restroom. The place was buzzing with people and activity and we were in the restaurant for perhaps five minutes.
When we arrived at the gift shop in Terrell, I realized that I was no longer wearing the bracelet I had put on that morning at home. Instantly, I became very upset. You see, that bracelet had very special meaning for me and I feared I had lost it.
About 15 years ago when writing books was just a distant dream for me, I had ordered an antique typewriter key pendant necklace from a catalog. I often wore the necklace as I typed out my stories in my little writing room which overlooked the perennial garden in my backyard. I think I secretly hoped that antique typewriter key pendant held some kind of magical inspiration.
My first book, The Button Box, was published in August of 2014. That year for Christmas, my niece, Jessica, sent me a package.
In the package was a bracelet and inside the box with the bracelet was a note:
“My dad got this for me a long time ago. I think he would want you to have it now since you’re an author! Pretend this is from him.”
I held the bracelet close to my heart and whispered “thank you.” My brother, Jessica’s dad, had died very suddenly in 2006. He had always encouraged my writing and would be excited about reading whatever story I was working on at the time. It felt as if I had received a very special Christmas gift from him eight years after his passing.
Then, the next surprise was that the bracelet matched the necklace I had been wearing for so many years. A special gift indeed. And, I had lost it somewhere between Hickory Creek and Terrell, Texas.
We searched the inside of the car and didn’t find the bracelet. My heart sank. As many of you know, when a loved one dies, we have a finite number of tangible things that are connected to their memory.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving pictures of my brother and our parents. This one always makes me laugh!
Then, my husband suggested that we go back to the Jack in the Box restaurant where we had made our pit stop. He said that maybe it had fallen off while we were there and some kind soul had turned it in.
He was right. One of the workers had found my bracelet and had given it to her manager. When I described the bracelet to the store manager, he said he would be right back. He came back a couple of minutes later with my bracelet and a big smile. Then he introduced me to the woman who had found it. I fought the urge to kiss her right then and there!
I thanked her and told her how much the bracelet meant to me. She smiled and nodded. I asked if she had any grandchildren and she said she had two…a girl who was eight and a boy who was seven. I told her I would be right back and I selected two books from the back of our car. I gave them to her for her grandchildren. I hope my books will be a blessing for her family as she has been for me.
As we all pause to give thanks and to count our blessings tomorrow, I am so very thankful for that little bracelet with letters and symbols from my brother. I am thankful for the grandmother who found it when it was lost. But I am most thankful for the people in my life both living and gone. For those who have passed, I am thankful for the time I had with them in this life.
Wishing you all a happy and thankful Thanksgiving Day!