My Lost Ring

Sometime last weekend, later Saturday or Sunday night, I took the four rings I always wear on my left hand off to apply lotion. I normally – always! – ONLY put them in a certain box in my closet, but since the lotion was in the kitchen I decided to put the rings in a bowl in a cabinet. When I went to retrieve them a couple days later (kept forgetting to put them on) only three turned up. My engagement ring and rings Chris gave me when Evie and Mack were born were in the bowl, but the wedding band was missing.

Chris and I spent HOURS that night looking for the ring. He pulled out all the appliances. We went through two trash bags. Under sofa cushions and rugs and inside the pantry. Nothing.

Heartbroken, I asked the kids if they knew anything. Mack copped to seeing the rings and touching them, but he SWORE that he put them back. I believed him. The girls said they never saw them. I believed them. Ben had a crazy 4-year old’s story about the twins bringing them up to Evie’s room. I did not believe him.

For six days I kept my head down, scanning the floor and corners in every room. I prayed to St. Anthony, and then to St. Jude when the secretary at my kids’ school suggested it. I cried (a lot). And all week I tried to keep things in perspective. California families are fleeing their homes in the wake of deadly fires, so just losing a ring really wasn’t a big deal…but, I know that if I had minutes to evacuate with only enough time to grab one thing, my ring would be the lucky object.

The whole ordeal turned into an existential crisis of sorts. I had planned to leave that ring to a still-to-be-born granddaughter (hopefully) 70 years from now. With the ring gone, what would I leave her to remember me by?? And, the ring was a constant for the past 12+ years; so much has changed, but that ring was always there reminding me of the love in my life.

Finally, this morning I felt the warm sun on my face and I decided to Let. It. Go. Give my grief to the universe and move on with my life. Chris could buy me a new ring, after all.

And, then this afternoon, a mini-miracle happened: Evie found the ring! She and Vivian were tasked with cleaning out the freezer after the homemade bath bombs they made last night crumbled all over it (what they were doing in the freezer I still don’t quite know). We removed all the food and drawers, and while Evie was vacuuming out frozen peas and I stood at the sink washing the drawers I heard her ask, “Mom, is this your RING?” I turned around in slow motion to see her beautiful smiling face and my most treasured possession!

It was resting on foot of the fridge. Perfectly perched in just the wrong spot for us to find it during the past week. If the bath bombs hadn’t exploded, I don’t know when I would have gotten around to cleaning the freezer. I hugged Evie tightly and thanked her over and over again.

Every time the universe throws me a curve ball, I try to see the lesson. Here is what I learned this week:

  1. I need to be more protective of my personal space. With eight people living in a city townhouse, the lines of “mine” and “yours” are always blurred. For my own sanity and peace of mind, I need to guard what little space I do have. I realized that my closet is this space. It is the place where I store my only treasured possessions, everything from my wedding dress to my baby book to old family photos. In the search for the ring, I cleaned out my closet and it is now a very nice space for me to enjoy. New family rule: no kids allowed in my closet. Ever.
  2. There is beauty in the mess. Evie and Vivian made a pretty substantial mess in the freezer. Of course I was annoyed, but because of that mess we pulled everything out and stumbled upon the ring. My little messmakers will only be little for a little longer, so I might as well enjoy the ride and find the bright side in all of it.
  3. I am pleasantly reminded by how little I truly care about stuff. Yes, I was so sad and angry about losing the ring, but it really is the only “thing” I deeply care about. Stuff doesn’t really matter.
  4. I am also pleasantly reminded of how much I love my husband. I love being married to Chris, and the vows we made with this ring still matter to me.

So, here I am tonight writing this post and I can’t stop smiling. We aren’t sure how the ring landed at the base of the fridge – maybe it bounced over there when I dropped the other three rings, maybe a little hand carried it that way. Maybe the universe was just trying to teach me a lesson or two. But, I really don’t care. This ring is never coming off again!

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