Sunday, January 27, 2013

Awarded a Badge of Honor

Once upon a time, a girl and a guy were sitting outside of a theater during a rehearsal, just talking about the future - possibly together, young though they were.  As they talked, the moon rose over the mountains and the sun began to set.  He put her hair behind her ear and looking past her, saw something in the flower bed behind them.  In the fading light he bent to pick up the treasure: a sterling silver bracelet of dolphins strung nose to tail in a delicate round. 

Another young woman, a dear friend, came outside at just that moment and shared in the wonder of the find.  He attempted to fix the bracelet onto the wrist of his girl, but to the disappointment of all, it broke into two pieces. 

The 3 friends went back inside, he held the door for his them and whispered to his girl as she passed, "I'm glad it broke; I wanted you to have it."  He knew his girl was fond of fixing things and handed her the pieces, sure that the other girl had no further interest.  She could not see possibility of treasure in broken things, but his girl was known for it.

The girl sought every which way to fix the bracelet, broken into two strings of dolphins - a section of seven and a section of three - but to no avail.  The workmanship of the bangle had been delicate, with no extraneous links.  There were only those made into the shape of the dolphins - one at the snout and one at the tail - which held it all together.  And the link at the tail of the 3 was gone.  They had asked if the bracelet belonged to anyone at the theater, but no one claimed it. 

The guy inquired at the end of rehearsal, as he drove her home, just what she would do with the dolphins.  They had discussed how friendly and smart the creatures were, how lovely the bracelet was, how her most favorite number was 3 because of it's attachment to fairy tales and magic. And they had imaginatively wondered at how it had come to the flower bed of an abandoned bank near a theater.  She experienced no small thrill remembering the feel of his fingers on her wrist as he had tried to attach the bracelet before it broke.  He had joked, "And if this were a ring, it would be like we were getting engaged!"

So that night, she found a way to keep it.  She attached a stray link from another bit of broken jewelry to the snout of the three and turned it into a pendant.  She particularly loved that attached to the snout of the 3 was a silver heart.  All put together and hanging about her neck, it was a lovely bit, and seemed to her deeply romantic and sentimental.

For the next two years she wore that charm and she and the boy grew closer and closer.  He often commented on the dolphins she wore and after a short time they both understood the meaning of the charm. The day the girl and the guy broke apart was difficult for her....but she did not stop wearing the charm from time to time. They remained close friends, and she still imbued the 3 dolphins with a sense of romance, connection and memory, feeling every so often the need to recall the guy and what they had once meant to each other. 

But they day she severed her life-path from his, she put the dolphins away and determined to never wear them again; not ever.  There must have been something that whispered to her the depth of her bitterness, pride and shame remembering her dealings with a dear friend.  It was that shame that held on to the dolphins, for they no longer held feelings of warmth or friendship for her. 

Then one day - nearly 12 years later, she decided to sell some jewelry.  She had moved over the dolphins numerous times in the past, thinking to throw out or give away or sell, and though she had never been able to do it before, this time was different.  She took the charm down with all the others, and as the buyer went over the silver with a magnet, she was surprised at her relief when the link she had added set off the magnet, making it un-sell-able.  She returned it to her purse, and felt a small warmth in her heart.

That same month, she resolved - as you may recall - to make peace with and restitution to the guy.  She sought to never more have any cause to call herself in private thought a liar.

On New Year's Eve, she made a gift to the guy, her friend of so many years, and they talked for a while.  She had forgotten the ease with which they spoke, the basic respect for and enjoyment of each other.  No, she remembered, it was the respect that had been lacking back in the day - the days when it counted. That was why she had separated their life-paths and instead chosen the wonderful, beloved, amazing man that she had married.  She left her friend, feeling entirely that all was well.  That night, she was forgiven by him.  She prayed for the power of the Atonement and felt surely that it was there and ready for her to accept.  She felt cleaner. 

And then, a few days later as she was cleaning out her wallet, she found the dolphins.  She smiled largely.  The dolphins reminded her of a space in time, but held no power of romance or possibility. In fact they seemed to speak to her of her children, her three wildly intelligent, kind, playful children.  Ha!  Three had always been her lucky number after all!

No, indeed, she may not have felt romance, but neither did she feel shame.  She strung them on a silver chain and put them about her neck - admiring the loveliness that had made them a favorite with all her friends in years past - and she knew they were more now. She was more now.

She could now completely say that she was honest. She had repented, she had been forgiven.  She would wear the dolphins as a reminder that she was now worthy to do so, no longer sullied by her lie to the friend who had made them a gift. 

Of course you see by now, that this story is true.  So when you see me wearing a string of 3 dolphins on a silver chain, you may know as I do that they are a Badge of Honor proclaiming that I am honest. 

And congratulations to me for my 300th post!  Huzzah!

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