One of the most devastating losses Melanie and I have incurred during our marriage is that of Melanie’s wedding ring. We’re not entirely sure what happened to it. For a long time, we held out hope that it would somehow turn up, that perhaps Edison had run off with it somewhere and we would eventually run into it. (The ring was lost when Eddie was younger than Peter is now, a time when Eddie was fond of losing things.) We never could find it, and given that we’ve moved to a different state since losing it, I’ve pretty much written off the idea of ever finding it. It’s sad. Sure, it’s easy enough (for me at least) to go through most days without ever thinking about it, but if I dwell on it for very long, it can be somewhat heartbreaking.
I’m very happy to report that as I write this blog post, my own wedding ring is sitting comfortably on my left hand ring finger, just as it should be. Not that many hours ago, I didn’t know if that would be the case. Melanie’s brother William and his family are in town visiting us, and one thing they wanted to do while they are here is see the Gulf of Mexico. So, this morning, we loaded up our respective vehicles and made the two-hour trek to St. George Island. It was the perfect day for it. It was one of the warmest days we’ve had this year, reaching into the upper 70s. It was also a sunny day, and most days lately have been fairly rainy. Once we got to the beach, we had a picnic of sorts and then headed down to play near the water. At one point while playing in the water—well, right next to the water, where the incoming tide could actually splash over my feet—I flicked some wet sand off of my hand. Along with the sand, off came my ring. I felt an immediate sense of panic, knowing that the waves could easily lap up my ring and carry it away. Fortunately, I was able to grab it right before another current danced its pirouette around my feet. A close call.
Flash forward approximately one hour. While playing in the sand with Peter, a safe distance away from the water, I stood up and briskly wiped my hands together, attempting to brush off the dried sand that was now sticking to them. As I did so, my ring once again flew off of my finger. I held abruptly still and looked down around my feet, assuming it would have to be within a matter of inches from my toes. But I couldn’t see it. I looked a bit further from my feet, scanning all around me. Nothing. I couldn’t believe it had disappeared so completely. It couldn’t have gone far, and the sand didn’t seem soft enough to think the ring had buried itself on impact. So where was it? I got down on my hands and knees and very carefully scrutinized the sand. Nothing. I let my fingertips nudge their way ever so gently into the sand and feel around, just in case the ring had magically worked its way underneath what seemed to be a relatively undisturbed surface. Nothing. I looked in nearby shoes, buckets, and bags. Nothing, nothing, nothing. How in the world could it have gotten so lost? It’s not like I had thrown it! It had simply dropped off my hand!
I spent a good 30 minutes or so looking for my ring, but nothing showed up. I checked my pockets. I even checked the creases in my clothes, in case it had miraculously balanced itself on a wrinkle of fabric. Nothing. Being a religious person, I offered several prayers along the way, but nothing turned up. Eventually, Edison was returning from further down the beach, where he had been playing with Melanie and Peter, and he said he needed to go to the bathroom. I reluctantly gave up my search and took him to the restroom, wondering if and for how long I should continue my search when I returned.
And then the miracle occurred. When I came back from the restroom, I was incredibly grateful to learn that William had located my ring. It was about six inches from the exact spot where I had left a shoe to mark the place I was standing when the ring came off. The ring hadn’t gone far. But apparently it had buried itself almost completely. One small corner of it was poking up out of the sand, and William happened to glance it from just the right spot, so that that tiny corner of my ring glistened in the sunlight and caught his attention. The “catching a glimmer of reflected sunlight” technique was a strategy I had tried time and time again during my own search, but to no avail. Perhaps William being a few inches taller than me helped him to catch sight of it at just the right angle. Whatever it was, I was extremely relieved. And I do believe my prayers were answered.
And that is my dramatic tale for today. G’night.