In April 2018, I was conducting a jewelry fundraiser for the Presbyterian Española Hospital auxiliary. A young man asked to trade his heart shaped river stone for a piece of jewelry for his girlfriend, who was a patient.

    Being very new to New Mexico, I did not understand the culture and knew nothing of the wonderful people of this beautiful state.

    I told the young man,”No, I’m sorry, I have to raise money for the hospital and myself.”

    Two years have passed. I’ve learned so much and have completely embraced this Land of Enchantment and all it’s diversity.

    I cannot look at a stone without thinking of this young man. If given the opportunity to re-live that day, I would tell him how much more valuable his beautifully shaped stone was than any piece of jewelry I had. I’d ask him to choose one for his girlfriend, and one for his mom. And I would proudly take that stone to my home and display it prominently.

    I hope he reads this letter and recognizes himself and knows how sorry I am for the way I mishandled this, and that I now know how special his offer was.

    Carol Young

    Los Lunas

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