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The Gift

On just an ordinary day, has someone ever taken you by surprise and given you an unexpected extraordinary gift?

Katie Hart Smith

In December 2018, I was finishing the final chapters of the third, and final, book in the Sacred Heart series titled, “High Cotton and Magnolias.” As I was writing about a nursing pinning and graduation ceremony in the 1900s, I realized I needed to design a unique nursing pin for the fictional Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing. After much re-search, I pulled out my notebook and colored pencils, thoughtfully chose the colors for the school, and created the piece of jewelry.

When the drawing was completed, I returned to the chapter and placed my fingers on the computer keyboard, writing, “It is circular, representing that our quest for knowledge and the pursuit of excellence is endless. The navy outer ring is inscribed with the words, ‘Sacred Heart Hospital’ at the top and ‘School of Nursing’ at the bottom. The first cohorts of both nursing schools will be the only ones to have two inlaid diamonds on that outer ring. One sits at three o’clock, which is representative of the time that Jesus took his last breath, dying on the cross for our sins and the other at nine o’clock, which symbolizes Jesus’ passing in the ninth hour in accordance to how time was told in those days. A white cross pattée rests on an 18-carat gold background. The arms are convex and curved at the outer edges and narrow toward the center where a red heart is positioned. The year, 1917, is embossed in gold inside it. Two raised gold rays radiate out from the heart on each of the four arms of the cross, signifying Jesus’ Sacred Heart, His eternal love for us. The color navy blue represents the healing power of God as referenced in the Bible. Gold symbolizes courage, compassion, and illumination. White means puri-ty, light, and safety.”

Later that evening, when my husband, Jeff, and I were recapping the events of our day, I discussed my dilemma of encountering a nursing graduation ceremony in my historical fiction novel and the need to fashion a nursing pin for the students. I showed Jeff my sketch. He studied it for a moment. With a smile and nod of his approval, I closed my notebook and we proceeded to go about the rest of our evening.

However, in the months that followed, I had no idea of the effort and work that was going on behind the scenes between Jeff and Buddy Anderson, Owner, Tara Fine Jewelry in Buford. Jeff had taken pictures of my design and with the help from our friend, Buddy, his team of jewelers fabricated the actual Sacred Heart School of Nursing pin.

Last month on just an ordinary day, Jeff took me by complete surprise and gave me the most unexpected extraordinary gift. I carefully opened the beautifully wrapped present and unsnapped Tara’s signature black box to reveal a perfect rendition of my design. Jeff remarked, “You deserve to have the one and only Sacred Heart Hospital Nursing pin, the perfect capstone to your writing journey. Oh, and by the way, I also had a friend of mine make lapel pins for you to give away at the book launch to your ‘graduates’ of the Sacred Heart series.”

I stared at it in disbelief. The moment was surreal. And as you can imagine, there weren’t enough tissues in the house to hold back the sobs and tears that followed as I smothered Jeff with kisses.

While the depths and breadth of love know no bounds, for me, Jeff’s love is the most precious gift of all.

It is with the utmost and heartfelt gratitude that I extend my appreciation to Jeff and Buddy for helping make my dream come true. I love you! Thank you! About 

About Katie Hart Smith
Katie Hart Smith’s column, “From the Heart,” touches the heart, inspires, and entertains. Smith, a published author for over twenty years, believes that words, written or spoken, have power. To learn more, visit