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Commentary: The Business

Lauren Kulchinsky: More than Stones and Metal

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Some gifts help us remember how important jewelry can be.

[dropcap cap=G]old, diamonds, necklaces, pendants, rings, watches … they all hold the energy of their owners. They hold the secrets overheard between friends and lovers. They store the memory of the “love at first sight” moment. They keep the reminder of the loving hands of daily embrace close to the surface. They have been used for secret weapons, love potions, war treaties, birth announcements, reminders that each day is the present. They are our protectors and our comforters. They are the legacy, they are the birthright, they are the one thing that you want your wife to hold onto when she can’t hold you anymore. [/dropcap]

My family recently lost a dear friend who had been fighting cancer. His family has been dear to us for a very long time and it will take some time to get used to the fact that one of the reasons they are so dear is gone.

A few months ago he and his family were visiting us in the store. On this day, he took me into the back of my store and asked to see an item that he had passed on a few days prior.
“I got her the other one for our anniversary, but this one is for later, please put it away for me.”

Of course I would, and my dad was there and I shared with him what the plan was … all the while our friend was memorizing the pendant with his hands. He was rubbing his fingers all over the textured areas and the smooth areas and feeling the nooks of carved-out parts.

Last night I was at the shiva and his wife was wearing the pendant. She was telling the story to everyone of how her late husband had given it to her son to give to her in the event something happened to him.

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Right before he went back into the hospital the last time, he took it back from his son to keep with him in the hospital.

“He knew it was the last time he was going in,” she said. “He had a feeding tube in most of the time, so it was very hard for him to communicate. He was always rubbing the pendant. He would touch it all day.”

Someone said maybe rubbing it brought him comfort.

“Maybe,” I thought, “but not how you think.”

I fought back a lump in my throat and tears, but I knew he was putting as much of himself into that pendant as he could, because she was going to wear it every day and he would be with her, he had memorized that necklace and maybe just maybe somehow they would stay physically connected through this last gift. And maybe that was how it brought him comfort.

We always say how we are a part of our clients’ lives, but do we ever really realize exactly how important what we do really is?

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We are not a luxury all of the time … sometimes we are a necessity.

Lauren Kulchinsky and her family own Mayfair Jewelers in East Hampton, NY.

[span class=note]This story is from the December 2009 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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