Jordan: Purchase of Pandora charm proof Rockingham is special

Everyone has a story and your story changes as you enter and exit each new chapter in your life. The chapter I will share with you is about a priceless moment in small-town America — Rockingham.

My husband, Butch, served two tours of duty in Iraq. He missed several of our son’s birthdays and many milestones in our home. When Butch deployed for the second time in March 2009, it was especially difficult on Noah.

Submitted photo Noah Jordan holds the Pandora charm he bought with his $28 and kindness from Steve Morris at Helms Jewelers.

Submitted photo
Noah Jordan holds the Pandora charm he bought with his $28 and kindness from Steve Morris at Helms Jewelers.

As an 8-year-old, Noah truly understood what deployment entailed and the real possibility that his daddy could be seriously injured or not return at all from the deployment. But life went on as each day drew closer to his daddy’s return and the normalcy in our home could resume.

The holiday season quickly arrived with both the excitement that a child has and also a veil of sadness because our family was incomplete. The day before Christmas Eve, Noah announces to me that he wants to go shopping for me by himself since Daddy was not here to go with him. This was a tradition with them (particularly the timeliness of the shopping!), and Noah wanted to continue it on his own.

He had some birthday money in his wallet, and he told me that he wanted to go to “the place where Daddy got you that ring.” I knew immediately that he was referring to Helms Jewelers.

I knew that I could call Mr. Steve Morris. I explained the request to Mr. Morris and asked if I could bring Noah and drop him off at the shop without me. Of course, Mr. Morris, being the kind man that he is, readily agreed.

I then explained that Noah had about $28 to spend, but he should be allowed to pick out any Pandora charm that he wanted. I would then come in after the holidays to pay the difference, but I wanted Noah to feel the independence of carefully selecting a gift and the responsibility of paying for it on his own.

Dr. Wendy Jordan

Dr. Wendy Jordan

Christmas morning came, and I unwrapped a beautiful globe-shaped charm with heart-shaped inlays. It was a priceless Christmas gift, and Noah was proud beyond measure. He couldn’t wait to tell his Daddy about his shopping adventure!

Once the whirlwind of Christmas subsided, I visited Mr. Morris to settle up the account. I was certainly familiar with the cost of Pandora charms, and I knew for sure that the one Noah selected was more than the amount of money he had to spend. Mr. Morris advised me that there was no balance owed and Noah had just enough money to select the exact charm that he wanted. I knew that was not so, but Mr. Morris insisted that was the case and sent me on my way.

I’m sure he doesn’t know this, but tears streamed down my face as I sat in the car overwhelmed with his generosity. It wasn’t about the money at all. It was about the fact that he thought enough of me, my son and our situation to extend such a powerful, random act of kindness.

Larger towns have more cultural opportunities, retail and dining options, real estate choices, et cetera, but my hometown has a feeling of togetherness and love and support. Steve Morris and his business exemplified all of those that Christmas. At this chapter in my life, those things are very important. I couldn’t wait to write my story to thank Mr. Morris for this experience that will be with me for a lifetime.

Dr. Wendy Jordan is the principal at Rockingham Middle School. This essay is reprinted here with her permission.

Filed in: Ellerbe/Norman, Latest Headlines, Opinion

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