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Dear Thief

Tue, Jan. 17, 2017 Posted: 08:44 PM

The muddy footprints you left behind after breaking into my daughter’s home have been cleaned, the broken windows fixed, and the insurance company will replace many of the items you stole.

But the jewelry box you grabbed held a special gold ring—a lovely garnet with two small diamonds on each side.

You may not be interested, but those diamonds have a story to tell.

My great-great grandmother squirreled away the money for them during a severe European depression.

No fickle currency for her; diamonds meant security.

Eventually the family sought a better life in America. The diamonds sailed across the Atlantic in the hem of her skirt.

In time, she gave them to my feisty, hard-working great-grandmother—another woman born of steel.

My grandfather secretly called her The Battleax—but he admired her courage in hard times.

When my grandmother married, she was given the diamonds with the instructions to hold on to them—they could be her security if the “world went mad.”

During the Great Depression, my grandparents could only afford a single meal a day, but she didn’t sell the diamonds.

The diamonds came to my sister and me nearly 30 years ago. When my daughter got married, I placed a large garnet (her birthstone) in a ring along with two of her great-great-great grandmother’s diamonds.

My daughter’s DNA contains the same steely determination.

The ring wasn’t a display of jewels, it was history, bloodlines, and a succession of strong women.

Of course, you couldn’t know any of this. But it makes me wonder if you ever had the chance to know a grandparent of tremendous character.

Family stories matter—and you may not have good ones to tell. But you could be the one who turns things around.

Stolen rings and electronics are just a short-term fix. Long-term changes are harder, but I hope you find a better path. Then one day your ancestors can tell inspiring stories about how you overcame hardships to be a man of integrity.

My daughter’s legacy is far stronger than those old diamonds. Yours can be too. And the reason we will never lament the ring’s loss is that our real treasures are stored where they never can be stolen.

Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20

Karen Farris