You may remember the story, or maybe not... as time has passed, I imagine I tell it less frequently. However, the topic did come up just recently, while on vacation in Costa Rica. An acquaintance was sitting in the hot tub, trying to piece together his moments from the previous evening and figure out what went wrong, causing him to misplace his wedding ring. I said, "Oh, don't worry-- I lost my wedding ring four or five years ago, and I'm still married."
It was a hot, summer day and all of Krinkeland was working in the yard. I was up to my elbows in dirt. I took off my engagement ring and wedding band set but didn't have anywhere to put them. I handed the rings to Todd and asked him to put them in his pocket. He said, "OK, but this is a bad idea." I said, "I know it is, but I'm too lazy to go in the house. Between the two of us, one of us will remember the rings in your pocket." Three days later, I was putting Madeline to bed when I stepped on something sharp in her bedroom rug. It was my diamond solitaire. I picked it up and scolded, "What are you doing with my ring in your room? This is not a toy!" Little One was still sputtering, "Mommy, I didn't..." when I remembered.
Todd and I scoured the room, emptied pants pockets, shook out the laundry, combed the yard, and looked absolutely everywhere else we thought the ring could have gone. No luck. I prayed and prayed for St. Anthony's help and implored the children to do the same. We enlisted the help of my almost-psychic mother, who believed the ring would eventually be found in the washing machine. No dice. At some point, I gave up. I apologized profusely, and even tried out a couple new rings. I took one home and wore it for a week, but it went back because it wasn't quite right. It wasn't my ring.
I had just recently entertained the idea of looking for a new wedding ring. I've become friendly with an area jeweler who has an interesting collection, and I thought I might go see her just to get some ideas, but that's as far as I got. This weekend, I had a big plan to clean-- really clean-- the bathrooms. I have new rugs and towels to move around, but I wasn't going to freshen up things until everything was scrubbed. I was washing the floor and wiping down the woodwork in the kids' bathroom when I announced, "You know what? We're going to clean out the cupboards in here, too." Cue the moans and groans. It's a small bathroom. The drawers and shelves contain only bathroom-type stuff. How much could there be? A LOT.
Elisabeth and Madeline mostly took to the task of sorting each kid's possessions into bins. I emptied out all the shelves and refolded the towels. There were four drawers, each randomly filled with old bath toys, partial tubes of toothpaste and so many hair accessories. Libby was sorting hair ties by color when she sweetly called to me, "Um, Mom? Do you know whose ring this is?" I turned, expecting to see a mood ring with dolphin cutouts, but the girl knew exactly what she had.
In the bottom of a bathroom drawer, under a tangle of hair binders, was my ring. Now, it's back on my old-lady hand where it belongs. I still kind of cannot believe it, but I am so, so thankful.