I had almost given up hope of ever finding it.  


It had been three years since I could account for its whereabouts after all.  Yet dim and hidden away in the farthest corner of my heart glimmered a tiny, inextinguishable spark of hope.  

Hope is what compelled me to sift loathsome vacuum cleaner bags when I realized it was missing…

Hope prompted me to dig deep into sofa and chair cushions, as recent as last week…

Hope begged me to revisit places I had checked a dozen times….  

My loss represented eternity, everlasting love, and though the Doubter in me knew it was gone, the Believer couldn't let go.


* * * * * * 

It was an anniversary gift from my husband, a rare surprise to me on our tenth, and I was impressed he even knew they existed. We aren't extravagant gift givers and this was costly and thoughtful and perfect:  a band of gold embedded with diamonds, representing ten years of marriage.  An eternity ring.  In fairy script engraved within its inner ring, careful eyes might discover our wedding date.


* * * * * *

My husband is observant.  If I were the type wife who bought clothes and hid them in my closet, he's the one in a thousand who would ask THE DAY I BOUGHT IT, "When did you get that?"  

I dreaded the day he would notice I wasn't wearing my eternity ring.


* * * * * *

It was on our 20th anniversary that Tad surprised me with a trip to a local jeweler to have my rings reset.  I rarely wear gold jewelry anymore, but my wedding band and engagement and eternity rings were set in yellow gold.  His gift was to have them reset in white gold, or if we could afford it, platinum. We spoke with a salesperson, looked at several different options, then he took measurements of my stones.  I was eager and excited to have this done–the new setting was going to be gorgeous!  He promised to call us within a week to give us an estimate.  I crossed my fingers the platinum setting would be in reach, though I expected white gold would have to do.

In the end, neither mattered.  

We never heard from him again.


* * * * * *


Initially I was angry and offended the jeweler didn't bother to follow-up with an estimate; but eventually the money we would have used for that went towards something else.  I have no idea what now, but with three kids and a declining economy, it's not difficult to imagine the money was spent on something we needed rather than on this lovely indulgence.  

Tad's thought still counted.


* * * * * *


A dish sits on my kitchen counter, a gift my daughter painted years ago.  It's salmon and turquoise and cornflower blue and doesn't match a blasted thing, but the mama-heart sees only beauty.  It's what holds my rings while I'm cooking or cleaning–I can't stand to do either with them on.  

Around the time of our wedding anniversary last year, I was cooking dinner.  Tad picked up one of my rings and observed out loud, "I can't believe you've had your rings for over 23 years…as much jewelry as you've lost, it's amazing you've held onto these!"

Cringing, all I could manage in reply was a muttered, "Yeah, I know…" but I couldn't raise my eyes to meet his.  I knew I was finally busted!  

But he didn't remember.  Somehow, he forgot about my ring and didn't even notice it was missing.

I was a tiny bit hurt but mostly relieved.

I looked for it again the next day.


* * * * * *


2010 my body rebelled against me.  Though I'm not eating more, metabolism has slowed and my shape is changing and the pounds add too easily.  My clothes scream at me when I zip and button.  

I hate it.

I'm not exercising regularly and I know I need to for a host of reasons, but I've never found that thing I love.  Still, yesterday–on New Year's Eve–I decided to do something, cause I believe something is better than nothing.

I ran my stairs 20 times, furious that that made me so breathless, so easily.  After that, I began a series of basics–sit ups and push ups and lunges, baby steps to get me started.  To strengthen my core, I assumed the plank position.

I was in my bedroom.


* * * * * * *

Barely 20 seconds in, I glanced to my left and saw something under the foot of my bed, a small brassy ring.  I stared in disbelief not wanting to raise hope but unavoidably, hopefully, thinking it couldn't be...c o u l d  i t?

I held position for a minute, then reached out to finger the ring.  It rolled to one side and I saw…


My insides exploded, my spirit happy danced and joy-flooded tears filled my eyes.  

It fit more beautifully than Cinderella's glass slipper.

To be continued….




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