A very merry holiday
This 30-year love story culminates with a glam yellow diamond ring and aromantic Christmas in Paris
When Karen Garcia, an executive with BMC Software, lost her wedding ring to a thief 18 years ago, she was rightfully upset. She and her mother-in-law, Annie Garcia of Corpus Christi, had picked out the diamond together and, of course, a wedding ring has intrinsic sentimental value. But it was gone.
"At the time, we were young and busy and she quickly replaced it with just a gold band," husband Roland Garcia e-mailed as he recounted this holiday story. "And each year since then, she has been asking for a new diamond ring for Christmas."
Over the years, Roland was focusing on his legal career and not really tuned in to Karen's desire for a replacement ring. In the meantime, that request for a new symbol of enduring love ramped up to a yellow diamond.
For this last-minute gathering, Roland was able to secure a private space for all 17 Garcias at Bistro Alex in CityCentre. And he worked with the chef to create a special "Happy 30th Anniversary" plate with the DeVille ring box flanked by two luscious desserts.
Now settled into his position as shareholder with Greenberg Traurig and with the couple's 30th anniversary approaching in March, Roland decided it was time to act. "Plus, she threatened to buy it herself," he admitted.
"So for the past six months, my daughter Kristin Garcia and I have been secretly shopping for a yellow diamond and plotting a surprise party." They enlisted the help of friend Liz Glanville and her colleague Dorit Feldman of DeVille Fine Jewelry to search for the perfect stone and accompanying side stones. After much investigation, Roland reported, the ladies found "the most beautiful set of diamonds" for Karen's new ring.
The piece arrived a week early, two weeks before Christmas, and just before a Garcia family holiday gathering. Roland and Kristin went to work to plan the family party that would double as an early 30th anniversary celebration and a surprise ring presentation to Karen. But then she was called to Paris for a last-minute client meeting and the only time the crew could be together was Sunday brunch only hours before her flight to Paris.
For this last-minute gathering, Roland was able to secure a private space for all 17 Garcias at Bistro Alex in CityCentre. And he worked with the chef to create a special "Happy 30th Anniversary" plate with the DeVille ring box flanked by two luscious desserts. It was a beautiful surprise for Karen, even if Roland did begin the presentation with a silicon ring with a teeny spec of a yellow stone. At the moment of that presentation, Yvonne Washington (who performs at Bistro Alex brunch) joined the party to warble "At Last."
Tears fell, family members applauded and at 3 p.m. Karen boarded her flight for Paris. And in another surprise, Roland left for the City of Lights a few days later.
"We will spend Christmas in Paris, just the two of us, and celebrate 30 years of bliss!" he concluded in his romance-infused email.