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A Jewel of a Friendship

A pair of friends are simultaneously inspired to make a generous gesture, each toward the other.

By Roberta Messner, Huntington, West Virginia

As appeared in

Delicate filigree. Embossed roses. I loved the Victorian-style cuff bracelet I’d just bought from a secondhand vintage shop. I didn’t have anything like it in my costume jewelry collection. Who better to appreciate my find than my friend Carolyn? She managed the jewelry counter at my favorite department store.

“You’d never know it was costume,” she said, leaning over her display counter. “It’s the loveliest thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

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As we chatted, Carolyn’s chandelier earrings sparkled. “I just adore those earrings,” I told her.

“Oh, they’re my absolute favorites. We had them in stock but they disappeared like hotcakes.”

Sure wish I’d gotten a pair, I thought. At least I had my bracelet. I looked down at it, running my fingers over the intricate design. That’s when I heard a voice strong and clear: “The bracelet does not belong to you, Roberta. It’s Carolyn’s.”

What? I loved that bracelet at first sight! But I kept imagining Carolyn wearing the Edwardian look-a-like and that made me happier than keeping the bracelet for myself.

When I looked up, Carolyn was removing her earrings, oblivious to everything around her. “God just told me these earrings belong to you, Roberta.”

“God just told me to give you my bracelet,” I said, handing it to her. We laughed, then shared a hug. We may adore jewelry, but it’s no match for our greatest treasure: our friendship.


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