Matters of the heart: Underlining Life

By Tonya Driggers Marthaler | Feb 08, 2017
Photo by: Donated photo

Recently someone wrote something on a board and then asked, “what if?” What if I drew a line thru this statement? What if we removed this statement and replaced it a more positive one?

As I reflected on watching her draw the line through the words something even more compelling came to mind. As powerful as marking thru something that offered a less supportive truth about life, was the idea of underlining the things that I wanted to be truer to my life.

As a nurse, I was drawn to the honor of abiding with people in life, death and all the moments in between, I have found that working with jewelry has offered me the same opportunities. We all have a story and hearing the stories of others has a unique way of giving us a chance to reflect on our own story and the moments worthy of underlining.

Valentine’s Day offers an easy opportunity to show someone, in a way that they can underline, love. But, it’s one day. What if we looked for ways to underline life every day?  The heart-tugging stories I’ve heard told through tears of sadness and joy have helped me realize how important it is to purposefully seek and recognize these underline-worthy moments. It is all the underlined moments that amount to a life that is unforgettable.

Like the widow who came in with her jewelry for an appraisal — she needed the appraisal because her insurance said so. What she really needed was the chance to share the parts of her life these pieces of jewelry underlined for her: an engagement, a wedding, a child’s birth, an anniversary.  What an honor to stand with her and let her memories come to life.  Both of us, tears freely flowing, admiring an underlined life.

Or, the mother who came to have the pendant she’d worn since losing her daughter, with its metal worn through from years of holding and remembering, restored, so at least it couldn’t be lost. How can we be anything but humbled to repair this tangible reminder of an underlined moment of her life?

The babies that we are meeting whose parents graciously allowed us into an underlined moment as they chose the symbol of their commitment to each other and now to their precious little.

There are enough memories to fill all the pages you hold of lives lived underlined.  But, it’s still someone else’s story. How to write our own story, with our own moments that are underlined?

It can start with Valentine’s Day but it sure shouldn’t end with it. Life can be underlined in so many amazing ways in the magnificent, complete and total surprises but especially in the simple, routine and predictable day to day. The just because I love you gifts, the five minutes of quiet between the whirling of life for a clinging embrace, the note left surreptitiously that lays love in the path of a person’s day; all underlined moments that tell our stories.