The Valentine Pendant

Sonja and me sporting our heart pendants, and the man with the biggest heart

Mike and I have always worked together and, because we owned our business, part of my perks were the special hours I set for myself. I was in charge of Human Resources, so hiring, employee reviews, meeting with Workers’ Compensation insurance agents, etc. were part of my job responsibilities. Some days I was busier than others and because I worked part-time I needed to complete the task in a timely manner. It was Sonja’s eighteenth birthday in 1994, so Mike and I wanted to do something special for her.

The  Mistake

Mike and I were both at work when he announced that he was going to the jewelry mart in Los Angeles to pick out a gift for Sonja. I mentioned to Mike that I wanted to go with him, but my schedule would not permit it. I also believe that Mike did not want me at the jeweler’s for fear that I might see something that I had to have. He went without me, purchased a gift, then called me to tell me that he was going to meet Sonja for lunch. I was confused because we had agreed that whatever he purchased for our daughter would be presented by both of us.

From Los Angeles he drove to Orange County to meet with Sonja. I am not sure what exactly happened but they got into an argument, so Mike did not give her the gift.

When Mike returned he told me about the dispute, then went to his office. I followed him and told him, “That’s what you get for not including me!” Then I asked him to show me what he had purchased for Sonja. It was the most beautiful heart pendant. I was so upset that I told him that he needed to return the gift. He asked, “Why? What’s wrong with it?” I replied, “Do you see what I’m wearing?”  I was wearing a beautiful, solitaire diamond pendant but this heart pendant that he had purchased for Sonja was made with several baguette diamonds.  Mike and I got into a disagreement about his hasty choice. “What kind of message are you sending our daughter? We need to fix this!” I felt really bad when I overheard his telephone conversation with the jeweler, “You made it too big, and now my wife is really upset!”

There is a principle and an order in a family; the mother comes before the daughter because she’s the queen and the daughter is the princess. In real life and in fairy tales the queen’s tiara is always more beautiful than that of the princess.  If we as parents  do not honor the role of the matriarch and patriarch, then the children will not understand their proper roles. Purchasing this pendant for Sonja might indicate that she was more important than me. Any therapist would agree with me that to give this message to your daughter is a form of spoiling your child. In no sense of the word was I jealous,; I was indignant and I needed to prove my point.  Mike was innocent in this situation; he never intended to hurt me or to put our daughter before me. He was simply being the loving father that he has always been. The same goes for a mother-son-relationship; the husband should always be allowed to provide and protect while the mother nurtures.


Mike and me and my heart pendant

The next day Mike and I returned to the jewelry mart and  Mike  told me to go ahead and pick out some diamond earrings. “Who said I wanted earrings?” I asked. Mike looked puzzled when he asked me, ” Well, what do you want?” I replied, “I want a diamond heart pendant.” The heart pendant that I chose was different from Sonja’s; mine is a more traditional classic design.

Sonja got to keep her heart pendant, but lost it in the waters of the French Riviera when she was studying abroad. I still have mine. On Sonja’s twenty-first birthday we had the jeweler make her a duplicate heart pendant like the one she lost. Now she has a greater appreciation for the special heart pendant and wears it often.

Passing The Jewelry Torch

When Sonja graduated from college, Mike and I purchased what would be her last piece of jewelry from us. I declared that from this point on in her life, it would be the responsibility of her future husband to gift her with jewelry.

Every Christmas Russ takes Lucas and Jacob shopping for Sonja; the boys love to buy their mother jewelry.


When It comes to jewelry I am a minimalist, the older I get the less I desire worldly things like jewelry or high-end handbags. I would never purchase anything out of my budget because it’s ostentatious. I do love shoes, but I would never pay full price for footwear.  Besides when you reach the pearly gates all these shiny, fancy things will have no use.

The Heart Represents Love

Love is the answer to many of our worldly problems. Loving God and putting Him first in our lives will direct our path to peace. The love the Lord has for us can only be described as that He loved us so much that He gave His life for us. There is no greater love than that!

My Prayer

Dear Lord, pour Your love over all those who are lonely, despondent or feel unloved. Lord, heal the broken hearted, especially all those people who have lost so many loved ones with the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Lord, restore their faith and replenish their hope in You. Amen.

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