The stories that ring could tell

As a child, I always admired my mom’s wedding band. It was five little diamonds in a row, probably less than a carat in total size, but I loved it. My dad never wore his wedding band, but my mom would wear hers every day outside the house and then come home and leave it on a little decorative plate in the kitchen. 

I tried it on a few times over the years, when I was a kid, very similar to what my kids do now to my own rings. 

A few years ago, though, my mom, who is a widow, started passing down some of her jewelry to me – including the wedding ring. 

But there was a problem – the wedding ring was gone. 

She searched the house for it, swearing it was in a jar in a kitchen cabinet (Why there? I don’t know.) and that if I just looked hard enough, I would find it.  

For someone who had admired that ring her whole life, let me tell you that I went all through that kitchen cabinet, and that ring was not in there – no matter how much she insisted it was. 

Fast forward about two years – yes, that’s right, two years. I don’t know where all that ring had been, but I know where it ended up – in our lovely Ruston Walmart Coinstar machine. 

Yes, that’s right.  

My mom collects change for the girls, and she had given them both huge Ziploc bags of change – so much change that I suggested we take it to Coinstar instead of counting it ourselves. As I was dumping the change into the machine, I noticed something bright and shiny – and dare I say, diamondy.  

My mom’s wedding ring – going down the Coinstar drain. 

By some quick movement on my part, I grabbed the ring before it went down into machine, and I just stared dumbfounded at it for several minutes. For two years, this ring had been lost, and I had been heartbroken – not for the sake of the ring but for the sake of the history behind it. My mom and dad eloped in 1969, and this was her wedding ring. This was the only ring my mom ever wore – she never wore any decorative rings or any other ring. This was her ring. This was the ring that, even though my dad hated wearing any type of jewelry other than his watch, symbolized their marriage. 

My kids walked out of Walmart about $50 richer (there was a LOT of change), and I walked out taking pictures of my mom’s wedding ring and sending them to her. I wear it often now, on my right hand, marveling at how we found it. 

And hoping that my absentmindedness doesn’t end up losing it for my own kids to find one day. 


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