Amarillo Globe, Texas -News Staff Writer
“A glorious angel sent from heaven, with beauty like a dove.”
With these simple words, Jennifer Scruggs expressed her feelings for her mother. And if those words were not enough, perhaps the quarter carat diamond she won will be.
Jennifer, 11, and her fifth-grade classmates at Sleepy Hollow Elementary entered the “Why Mom Deserves a Diamond” contest sponsored by Gallery of Diamonds in California, and her poem was selected as one of six winning entries from throughout the country.
Once word of the contest was out, Jennifer, 11, tried to fool her mom, telling her the assignment was “Why my friend deserves a diamond.” She kept up the ruse even after she discovered she was a semi-finalist.
“I just wanted to surprise her, and she fell for it hook, line and sinker,” the youngster said about her mom.
Even after the quarter-carat diamond arrived by certified mail, Jennifer told her mother it was just paperwork and no jewel.
When Jennifer finally gave the diamond to her mom, Laura, both were all smiles.
“We’ve had some hard times over the last few months, and we’ve gotten to be a lot closer,” Laura Scruggs said. “It’s nice to have something to celebrate.”
Jennifer has been sick with mono and has been in and out of class for the last three months.
But that hasn’t stopped her studying or writing.
Her teacher, Rhonda Soapes, said she required all her students participate in the contest because they had nothing to lose.
“She (Jennifer) was very creative and took care into creating the poem,” she said. “I think that’s why she won. She’s so expressive in her writing.”
Michael Watson, owner of the Gallery of Diamonds, agreed. Jennifer’s poem was selected from more than 15,000 essays entered in the competition. She is the only winner from Texas.
“It was very sincere and heartwarming, the way she crafted her work,” Watson said. “It doesn’t have to rhyme or anything. If you take your time, you can craft something special.”
Watson said he began the contest in 1993 as a way to honor mothers everywhere. His book, “In Search of Mom – Journey of an Adoptee,” was his chance to express appreciation for his adopted mother and his biological mother, whom he has never known. The contest allows others to honor their moms with words of love.
Jennifer said she has no professional writing plans; she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.
The diamond is valued at $400, a lot of money to Jennifer.
“With my allowance, it would take me eight years to get enough money to buy that,” she said.
Jennifer and her mom are planning to pick out a heart or a cross to mount the diamond.
“It should be a heart, because that poem came from the heart,” she said.
Jennifer doesn’t want to leave her father out of the fun.
She said her next contest, if she can find one, will be “Why Dad Deserves an Antique Tool Set.”
The following is the poem she submitted:
“A glorious angel sent from heaven, with beauty like a dove. Her voice drains all sadness. A brilliant star shining through the darkness. My friend, my mom.”