- Angela Galiano
The constellation of love
There are traditions that we should never lose. Like therapeutic gatherings with best friends where you can both catch up and laugh until your stomach hurts; also losing track of time when you are on vacation and even forget what day it is, or just spending Christmas with family –as it is coming soon.
There also exist more personal traditions like the one I am telling you today. Juanfra and Maria are a lovely couple who, after getting married, decided to multiply their family by two. But there is something special and different about Juanfra’s empathetic perception of the fact that it is Maria who, in the end, makes the dream of creating a family come true.
Even if we have not gone through pregnancy, we all know that, in addition to the beautiful experience that is feeling your baby growing inside you, it also conveys a great physical sacrifice for the mother. Cocktail of hormones, sickness, radical body changes, hurtful and numerous contractions with a birth delivery as the icing on the cake. It is usual to think that fathers, although present and conscious of the maternal effort, tend to belittle the endurance this process really requires as they have never gone through something similar.
It is not the case of Juanfra though. Here we are talking about a husband and a family father who is quite conscious with what pregnancy takes. The manner of expressing his gratitude comes in a form a barter:
“When Maria gives birth, she makes a gift to me: my child. In return, I make a special gift to her.”
When Azahara was born –their first child– Juanfra told me he gave Maria a beautiful white gold ring with a diamond which Maria fell in love with. Four years after, baby Juan arrived along with the present story. Following the tradition, Juanfra commissioned me the project of giving back to Maria for her priceless gift. The only difference would be that the gift we were going to create for her would not be as adorable, eatable and comforting as hers –it wouldn’t cry at night either.
So, after many sketches considering different options, we decided to keep the one we both liked the most. An enigmatic design in the sense that it has an implicit J in it, not completely noticeable at first sight. The reason is that, in my opinion, we are dealing with such a special gift that originality must dictate the design. Necklaces with letters we can find in every corner and making a simple J would have been nice but Juan set the bar very high when he was born. I had to make something unique and forever to keep. Just like him.
This J for Juan is set in white gold and made up of six white sapphires and a unique heart-shaped ruby. At first sight it may give the impression of a constellation to which I used to call the constellation of Juan during the whole artistic process. The stars are symbolized by the sapphires that reflect the light that Juan has brought with him. But Juan also represents the unconditional love and shows us the lesson that, when a second baby arrives, love is not divided but multiplied. Now you know where I got the idea for the title of this post and also the reason for a heart-shaped ruby.
It is reasonable to think that women are naturally prepared to get pregnant and physiologically designed to give birth. But it is also necessary to recognize and appreciate the effort that it takes. I think all of you –women– are with me when I thank those fathers who, like Juanfra, empathize and reward in some manner.
“Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.” — Lin Yutang