We were on Grand #3’s NA Travel Scholarship Trip visiting 4 Hawaiian islands in 7-days aboard the Pride of America. One of the benefits of spending a week with each Grand during their 12th summer is that you get to know more about who they are, their interests, and their views of the world, including glimpses into their character and the adults that they will become. These momentary insights are an extraordinary gift that can only come from dedicating the time and attention – creating a safe place for the story of their lives to unfold.
During our week together exploring the Hawaiian Islands I had two such unforgettable experiences with Grand #3’s generosity. As we finished our tour of the Maui Tropical Plantation we wound our way back through their gift shop. I observed our grandson in the women’s shopping section carefully looking at the merchandise. As I wandered over to where he was looking at beach bags he turned to me and said, “Do you think my mother would like this color?” He continued saying, “She gave me some money to spend on the trip and I would like to give her a gift.” Almost speechless over this selfless motivation I assured him that, “Yes, she would really like that color.” He proudly took the bag to the checkout counter, paid, and carefully tended to his purchase for the remainder of the day – always ensuring that it was not left or lost.
Towards the end of the trip I had discovered the onboard Na Hoku jewelry store where I discovered and fell in love with the antique hand carved Mother of Pearl gaming counters from the Ching Dynasty (circa 1720-1840) that had been mounted into wearable jewelry. After several visits to the store all resulting in purchases I had earned the opportunity to open several oysters, containing pearls. Realizing that I wanted to share the fun I returned to the store with my husband and Grand #3 and they began to open the oysters and uncovered two almost symmetrical pearls of a light pink color.
We immediately thought that these pearls would make a great gift, once mounted in a setting, for him to give to his mother for either her birthday or Christmas. Grand #3 excitedly agreed and proceeded to carefully comb through the setting options, finally selecting a rose gold bracelet in which the pearls would be set into the decorative end finials. Selection made, we proceeded to pay for the bracelet, leaving the pearls to be placed into their setting, and left the store to return to our cabin for a night’s sleep before the next days’ snorkeling adventure.
After swimming among tropical fish we stopped by Na Hoku to pick up the bracelet and returned for an afternoon rest in the cabin. Grand #3 hesitantly approached me with his fist clenched and said, “I want to contribute this money to the cost of my mom’s bracelet.” As he opened his hand I saw a $100 bill. Stunned, I said, “You don’t need to do that – spend the money on something for yourself.” Crestfallen, I quickly realized that I needed to slow down and take another opportunity to really hear what he was saying and so I asked, “Are you saying that in order for you to give the gift to your mom you need to have some money invested in the gift?” Relieved he said, “Yes!” After ensuring that he was following his heart and that a lesser amount would not be true to the amount he wanted to contribute we agreed that he would use his trip spending money to help underwrite the cost of his mother’s bracelet. The next step was to tell his grandfather of his decision.
As he joined him on the cabin’s deck I observed two men, talking about everything but the bracelet until Grand #3 finally offered the money to his grandfather who had the same reaction as I did with the same result – a disappointed grandson. I quickly stepped outside to explain the motivation and intention. Informed, his grandfather and I accepted his generous gift.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.