By Eileen R. Eichhorn

Every November for many years I schedule my eye exam. The ritual is my personal birthday gift to myself. Since I rely on my eyes to critically assess jewelry and gemstones for many continuous hours each day, it is imperative that I do this to be certain I am “spot on” in evaluations. This year my doctor noticed my eyes improving for the second year in a row. I am thankful!

What happened to me in the waiting room prior to my exam was enlightening…A young boy with his parents noticed me entering the door. Almost immediately he had piercing eye contact with me and smiled. He sauntered over where I sat and announced, “You look rich, lady.” His comment caught me off guard since I was dressed in a wool tweed pants suit that was certainly not dressy accessorized with a few of my favorite daily jewels. I would be going to work at the jewelry store after my appointment and did not consider anything I selected to wear for my actual birthday anything other than what I would normally wear to work. Perhaps his comment was because his parents were in attire that was a bit more casual? My tall stature may have attributed to his observation? I was perplexed by his proclamation. I have continued to run the scenario over in my mind. What did he see that I didn’t?

It occurred to me on the drive back to work that I am rich. Certainly, I am not rich in dollars. Yes, like most business owners I have assets but I have enormous obligations and huge responsibilities, too. I am rich because in less than one minute this unassuming child totally blind sighted me with his eye- opening remark as my most unexpected birthday gift!

I am rich in so many ways! I am healthy. I have a wonderful husband and family, great employees, and so many friends and jewelry industry peers that continue to love me through challenging times. I am rich because our many loyal customers have continued to shop with us for decades now. I could not be successful without all of them. I am rich because I live in a wonderful community that is appreciative of all that we can do together. The list of my riches is many. I am blessed to have met this child of God who certainly had no idea what a wonderful gift he gave me. I am so very thankful for the reminder of how really rich I am.