Oh those rings! I’ve talked about my rings before. I have an engagement ring and a wedding band sitting on the finger these rings are supposed to be sitting on…that is they were sitting there last week, they occasionally leave and decide to sit elsewhere. For instance, in the past I had been concerned that because I was doing somewhat strenuous activities (like twenty years ago), that I might lose my rings, so I put them in a safe little box. I didn’t know that the safe little box would be in an unsafe apartment that would be the victim of a steam pipe explosion. After that explosion, I thought those rings were lost or maybe stolen-I couldn’t find them anywhere; Jon bought me new rings. Five years later when I was clearing out an old box from our old apartment (we didn’t have that much left from that apartment-most everything was contaminated with asbestos, or destroyed, or stolen), I went through this box, and there they were…the other rings…waiting to be found…just resting. Someone (not me), one of the workers that had been hired to clean the building, must have put the little box into this bigger box, not knowing what was inside the safe little box, or maybe they did, and decided to leave them there to rest.
Then a different time, when I was about 8 months pregnant with Rachel, I took off my rings (the newer ones), because my fingers were swollen, and put them in a jewelry box in my closet. I didn’t think much about it. A couple weeks later I looked for the rings but I couldn’t find them. I didn’t think much about it, there was so much going on at the time. Not only was I pregnant-but we were raising the roof on our house and building another floor. The construction was behind schedule-instead of the building being completed by the time Rachel was born, we were just starting to build right before Rachel was born. We were also dealing with the process of hiring a babysitter or nanny because I was only taking off 6 weeks before I went back to work. Jamie was 7 years old at the time, Jon wasn’t loving his job…so maybe, just maybe I hadn’t put those rings in the jewelry box-it was possible. I thought about it, but I wasn’t obsessing over it. Then I got a call from the local Coach store thanking me for my purchases for $500-only problem was I hadn’t made any purchases there. The next day I received a call from my credit card company informing me that I had made $8000 worth of purchases…wrong. Hmmmmmm…. I decided to take a ride to the Coach Store with a picture of my babysitter (she was the only other person besides myself that would have had access to my closet). When I got to the store I asked to see the woman who had called me. She came out from the back of the store, and of course she did not recognize me, but interestingly she recognized my daughter Jamie who had come along on this bit of Secret Agent business with me; she apparently had been with our babysitter on the day the Coach purchase in question had been made. Jamie wasn’t supposed to be driven anywhere without prior permission-guess our babysitter forgot. I showed her the picture of our babysitter, and she confirmed that the picture was definitely the “thankee” that she meant to be calling on the phone the day before my visit. I decided to go to the police the following day. The police couldn’t do anything about the Coach purchase because it was a credit card exchange and that was out of their jurisdiction. But what about those rings? I wasn’t sure if our babysitter might have gone into my jewelry box in her spare time-but it seemed considering the recent information, that it was possible. The police went to her house-she let them inside; they told me afterward that she had piles of bags and boxes-probably from all her shopping sprees. They asked her to accompany them to the Police Station; she answered some questions and was kind enough to produce a pawn slip for my missing rings. What do you know? The rings were missing! They were stolen! So the rings went on another trip and back they came. They could have been sold, but they weren’t. Our babysitter could have chosen to not produce that pawn slip, but she did.
So…last week, I noticed that my increasingly thinner fingers were not holding onto my rings the way I’d like them to, and I wondered if I should have them resized…that day was Wednesday. As I wondered this, I thought it will be easier to decrease the rings, than to increase them, and that while the band for my engagement ring is simple, my wedding band would require a bit of artistry should I need to increase its size after decreasing its size, and would it really be worth it to go through all that, when my fingers might very well expand in the near future. Much thinking was given to this matter. I specifically choose to wear the wedding band on top of the engagement ring because it’s smaller and that way it acts as a stop gap if you will, for the engagement ring, also thinking strictly monetarily, the engagement ring is more expensive than the wedding ring, and all and all, while I’d be sad…very sad if I were to lose them, I’d be much sadder if I were to lose the engagement ring.
Then Thursday came…that’s Laundry Day. It was about five in the afternoon, and I was in the Laundry Room (this is quite a good size room, as rooms go), I casually tossed a pair of jeans from the laundry basket into our front-loading washing machine, and there it went…I could feel the rings moving easily and quickly past my ring finger knuckle. The jeans went into the washer, I looked down at my hand, and I saw the engagement ring teeter-tottering at the tip of my ring finger, and the wedding band was gone. I didn’t hear a sound, I had no idea what direction it may have gone; it didn’t even occur to me that it might have gone into the washer. I was most concerned about a very large drainpipe that sits directly in front of the washer, that’s about four inches wide and infinitely deep. I finished loading what I needed to load, now and then scanning around to see what I could see…seeing nothing. Not Good. I didn’t turn on the washer because I wasn’t sure how this would effect the drainpipe-if water would rise in it, and potentially sweep my wedding band down and or out. I stood for about five minutes in the room, trying to pick up on the energy or the “signs”, as I sometimes do in these situations, and I had a tremendous pull to look directly under the washing machine. I didn’t have a pull to look anywhere else, so I went with that calling. I should mention that the edge of the washer sits about four inches from the deep drain to nowhere. I got down on my knees and looked under the washer…not so slightly under, past lots of lint, fuzz…lots of things, I caught a glimpse of something about five inches back from the edge, that could have been a button, maybe an old toy; it was hard to tell. I reached in, barely able to touch it, and it was my wedding ring. So there it goes again…always coming back. I was very glad to have been reconnected with my friend.
After I put the rings in a place for safe-keeping (I hope), and think about what I should do about wearing them…should I eat more, decrease the size, or hang them from a chain around my neck? I quickly got on the phone and called my Mom and five friends-all people who know the history of my rings. I wanted to find out what meaning they thought this recent ring event had if any…wondering if they thought it meant anything else other than I needed to eat more because my fingers were becoming too thin. The responses were all very “ringlike”. I share these thoughts…to me they represent the magic of the rings and of life. The responses were, “you’re lucky in unlucky situations”, “Jon will always be there for you”, “those rings are meant to always come back to you”, “those rings belong to you”, and lastly from my good friend Cindy, “I think this is a sign, that just like all the other times when your rings left and came back, it’s the sign of a new beginning”. Oh those rings!