A Rare Gift

My father gave me a pair of earrings many years ago. He was so proud and made me feel so special. He told me, “They are your birthstone, ‘alexandrite’ – more rare than diamonds.” A brilliant purple, princess cut rectangles, in gold, then and now my favorite piece of jewelry.

I wore them daily, caring for them and appreciating them as much as the day I got them. On a brilliant, hundred-degree day, a friend invited me swimming. Being nervous about how my earrings would react in the heat and pool chemicals all day, or heaven forbid I lose one, as I parked just outside the pool gate I left them in my car center console. After the long day, jumping back in my car, the first thing I did was grab my earrings. I was devastated to see they lost their color and vibrancy. They were clear with a tinge of brown. Heartbroken, I put them back in my ears to not lose them on the way home.

Fading Away, Yet Still Loved

I sadly went to stow away my gift for safe keeping. Taking them off, I was shocked to see purple as brilliant as the day I got them. Beautiful purple, richer and deeper than ever, as if they had a life of their own, now restored.

Now, over thirty years later, I still wear my favorite earrings. If a little bit of time passes, they begin to fade. The more they are worn, the more they luminesce. 


There are people like alexandrite. They shine and sparkle and make others happy. People enjoy them and think everything is always ok. But it takes human contact, human connections, being with others, to make people thrive. The longer people hide or turn into themselves, the more dull life can become.

Caring is noticing when people begin to fade. It’s amazing what a simple hug, a compliment, smile, or friendly hello can do. It’s life changing to know someone, even a stranger, cares.

Don’t let the purple fade ~ reach out to someone today. 

Jenean M. Roth is a lover of words read, written, spoken, dreamt, and arranged in entertaining ways. Her professional career reflects being a mother, grandmother, librarian, and court clerk, in that order. Her personal life is almost as fun and includes, pets, reading, writing, art, and laughing, not necessarily in that order.




Image courtesy of Luz Mendoza.