A dear friend of mine, Frank, called and asked to meet with me because he knew I had designed a symbol of love and he wanted something very special to give to his wife, JoAnna, on their 60th wedding anniversary. He had been looking for an expressive piece of jewelry that would convey to her the depth of his love and devotion. They, along with their children and grandchildren, were flying back to Chicago so that they could renew their wedding vows. He loved the Angelheart necklace I wear everyday, but wanted the body of the standard Angelheart to represent the infinite love he felt for her. He wanted it to be larger than the original size and set with his birthstone. It just so happened that I had all ready designed what he was asking for. So I called the manufacturer to see how quickly we could get it. We worked secretly together so that it would be a big surprise.
We were both delighted that JoAnna’s Angelheart arrived the day before they left for Chicago. Frank gave JoAnna her Angelheart on their Anniversary at a family dinner. She called me in tears to express her gratitude. She thanked me for helping Frank express his genuine love for her. She so appreciated the meaningful moment they shared with their family as he presented his gift from his heart. She said that it was such a powerful experience and it will remain a precious memory for everyone. He also told her that he wasn’t sure how much more time they would have together on earth, but that his love will be with her always and forever. Their share a marriage of faith and know they will be reunited if they are ever separated from one another.
I adore this special couple and will never forget something that Joanna told me several years ago as she was telling me about how much she adored her extraordinary husband. This delightful Italian woman said that she told Frank if she were to die first and any of their friends advise him to date another woman because “JoAnna would want you to be happy”, he had better not! She said I told him to, “Get a dog! I want you to be miserable until we are back together again. You are mine!”
The hand of God touched our hearts. It took me a little longer to feel than it did Frank. He felt it immediately. His loving persistence eventually helped me to feel it as well. Our meeting was very unlikely, coming from two different worlds. He was from a very small town and I was from the big city, our paths unlikely to cross. Yet, we met! The details of our meeting are irrelevant for this writing. What is relevant is that in my heart I know that God had a hand in our meeting and has had His hand on our life together for all of these sixty years.
In all these years, we have been through just about everything one can imagine– good times and bad, joyous times as well as sad, separations that seemed interminable, and any number of crises. Yet, instead of affecting our marriage negatively, it bonded us in a way that is truly indescribable. What I know and can say with certainty is that we are truly blessed. When we looked into each other's tear filled eyes, as we renewed our vows on our sixtieth anniversary, we knew that we truly loved each other more at that moment than we ever had in the previous sixty years.
I wear a symbol of that love everyday. On our anniversary Frank gave me an Angelheart exclusively made for me to express our undying love. It will be with me forever, worn very close to my heart. Frank and I will always be together!