"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
This quote reminds me of a conversation that I had with my Hubby not too long after I was diagnosed with my food allergies. Back then, it was 9 food intolerances - the 6 that I follow now as well as shellfish, cinnamon and caffeine (since then, I have found that shellfish gives me no problems and that I tolerate cinnamon and caffeine fine as long as the doses are small and infrequent).
I had received the diagnoses a week or two prior to February 1st 2008, worked at it a bit and officially started February 1st. It had been a long, rough couple of weeks, but I was working at it. I had a few emotional breakdowns, but I was trying very hard not to let my emotions take over. I was running to every grocery store that I could think of to look for safe foods, I was researching my intolerances online, learning about hidden ingredients, scouring blogs for recipes and just generally trying to grasp all this.
Then, a day or two prior to Valentines day, Hubby came home with a beautiful robin's egg blue bag in his hand. He had gone to Tiffany's! He handed me the bag and told me to open it. I pulled off that satin white ribbon very gently, wanting to savor this moment. When I lifted off the carboard lid, I saw a beautiful lock necklace. He bought me the matching necklace to the lock bracelet that I had received from my Sister a few years prior. I was ecstatic. Hubby has always good with gifts, but we aren't rich or extravagant people, so this gift was a big one! I had been lusting over the matching necklace for a while, but never thought I'd actually get one! I loved it! But that wasn't the most touching part. That was definitely the speech that followed. My sweet Hubby told me that this was not a Valentines gift and I was confused. He said that he had watched me struggle with this new diet (uh ... lifestyle) and with some other medical issues that I had been dealing with for a while. He said that he was really proud of the way that I was handling it all and that through these experiences, he was able to see my inner strength and thought it was so beautiful. He said that he knew what I was going through wasn't easy, but he admired my will to go on and wanted me to know that he loved me no matter what. I was so touched. I felt so appreciated. I was surprised. It was all so moving.
Even now, 10 months later, I cherish that necklace. It is beautiful and perfect (and goes with all sorts of outfits! ;) ). But whenever I look at it, I look past it's physical beauty and remember the significance behind it - what I went through, how far I've come and just how wonderful my Husband is.