Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lost and Found

At a writing workshop a couple weeks ago, we were asked to write about something we’d lost and what that loss had meant in our lives. I wrote about the ring.

My sister gave it to me, a unique silver ring from Mexico. I adored it, curved and sleek, snaking around my middle finger from knuckle to first joint, perfect for my thick, square hands. People admired it, sometimes taking my hand to look closer. I felt acknowledged, accepted, if only for the ring.

Then, sometime in September, 1993, I slipped it off and laid it on the kitchen counter. At least, that’s what I remember.

And it vanished. Poof! Gone!

Had I really left it there? I retraced my steps, swept floors, searched cabinets and drawers. I looped through the house every day for months.

I asked at work. Had anyone seen it? Yes, they remembered it. No, not on a table or desk. On my hand. I searched for a replacement, a futile effort, since I wanted that ring, not a copy.

Eventually, I accepted that it had disappeared for good.

Years went by. Then, on a cruise from Barcelona to Dover in 2006, we stopped in Vigo, Spain. My friend and I spent the day ashore. We took a local bus tour and found a unique spot for lunch. Then we shopped. That’s when I found it. Not the same ring, but one that spoke to me, one that said, ‘this is you.’ I asked to see it, a fat band of silver woven around bits of blue and green and purple and amber.

I slipped it onto the middle finger of my left hand. Oh, bliss! A perfect fit.

I wear a ring on my right hand, too—a large diamond set at the bottom of a tear-drop shaped opening in a thick gold band. The diamond, nearly half a carat, came from my Grandmother’s engagement ring. Impressive. Pretty.

But when I hear what a pretty ring I know the comment will be directed at the Spanish ring. Just like the one my sister gave me, the one that said ‘this is you’ . . . and it’s O.K. to be noticed.