Rafting through Glaciers
Look at my necklace in this photo. It tells a story of challenging circumstances in my life and how I began the journey to experiencing the quiet joys that luxuries can provide: joys that offset challenges and last. Jewelry lasts, and so does this story...
I married at 26 to a man who was 62. We met and married in 22 days. I was lucky. The morning after marriage, when we woke up, he said, "Let's go to work." I was a bit nonplussed; having just married a wealthy man, why would I work? He responded, "So you'll learn how to hold onto it." My education in business began.
I wasn't the best of students, but David allowed me to make mistakes without condemnation, expecting me to learn from them. I'm still learning. After a few years of trying to learn to be married, be a working partner in business, and get conversant with both, I began to be a little too confident as time went by. I made an error in judgment in a business transaction. It resulted in challenging decisions and harder ramifications to our lives. The result was after a couple of years of the travails I caused, I was burned out, fried, and had lost my sense of self-confidence.
David walked in one day while I was berating myself for the situation. He handed me an ad for rafting in Alaska. I flew out the next weekend. To an experience of a lifetime, rafting the Alsek River in the remote regions of Alaska for two weeks. No hotels, no roads, no towns, no phones. Camping by the river at night in a tent and relearning the importance of being cognizant of myself, my failures, and my successes, not the point. The only point is the paths you take without guarantees. Learn from the effort of traveling whatever path you select.
When I returned, I designed and had this pendant made. For David, a money clip, which we both thought was ironic considering how much money I had lost in that ill-fated judgment error. It's 18-karat gold, and the story it tells is this. The gold is the landscape of Alaska wilderness. The Pearls are the glaciers I floated by while on the Alsek River, the blue aquamarine stones are the river, the little diamond rectangle is my raft, and the black onyx dot on that diamond raft is me.
I have included the script that I engraved on the back. It's rough because I did it myself, making it more important to me and David.
I'm always coming home, your white water wife. Gale 4-18-89