I haven't had a very good week, what with two lunatic altercations, eating four slices of the Italian Creme cake when I shouldn't have eaten one, the endless fog weighing heavy, wrapped around my shoulders like a shroud, and then this morning...I lost Alan's wedding ring.
This ring has been on my middle finger, right hand since the funeral director handed me Alan's effects. It's a beautiful Celtic knotwork band that fit his big hand just right, and though it's a bit wide for me, it's only once fallen off and that was in the shower. I can distinctly remember the day we picked it out at the jewelry shop on a stormy, wild Edinburgh afternoon. We were about two weeks from the wedding, the ring was the last thing we needed to get done. We went out that night and drank too much whiskey to celebrate.
This morning, after walking the dogs, I had a few errands to run and as it's warmer today I didn't have to take the dogs home first. I went to the vet's for more dog treats, got gas, and popped into the grocery store for some milk. As I'm waiting in line, I tapped my finger against the trolley handle and suddenly realized I wasn't hearing the usual clink of metal on metal. I raised my hand, and stared in horror at my bare finger.
Where is the ring? When did I lose it? I start patting my jacket pockets, hoping that the ring has slipped into a pocket whilst I was walking the dogs. I dig frantically in my purse. My stomach sinks, my mouth goes dry. I pay for my milk but can't talk to the cashier around the lump in my throat. I practically run out of the store and start a manic search through the car, front and back. The dogs think I'm nuts as I shove my hands underneath them in their beds.
As I drive home, tears pressing painfully against my eyeballs, I try to remember the last time I felt the ring on my finger. I can go back two days: reading my book, twisting the ring around my finger with my thumb. This ring has a lot of texture, with curves and grooves...it's very tactile and I play with it a lot. I realize that in two days I have been in a multitude of places in town, including the park with the dogs. I'm fighting the tears as I climb the mountain, already picturing in my mind where I will need to look in the house.
Unload the dogs, the treats, the milk, grab a flashlight and head back to the car. I remove everything: two dog beds, towels for the elusive rainy days, extra dog treats, water; empty the glove box. I shine the light under the seats. Ah, break my heart. No ring.
An hour later, and I have pretty much covered the house. I'm mumbling to myself, fighting the growing sorrow of losing another little piece of Alan, I'm mad for not noticing when and where I could have missed the weight of the ring on my finger. I wonder if it's worth driving down the mountain and retracing my steps at the park. It seems daunting, but I imagine for a moment someone finding it in the grass, or along the river, or in the parking lot...and wearing it...and my stomach lurches.
I head back downstairs, get in the car, and with tears threatening, I start the car and prepare to back out of the garage. Something catches my eye. I look to my right. The ring is laying in the middle of the passenger seat.
Turning off the car, I sit for a minute, stunned, and just stare in disbelief. Seriously, honestly and truly, there is no way on earth that ring was there at any time while I was searching frantically for it. And yet. There it is. I snatch it up, put it back on my finger where it settles perfectly and suddenly my week seems pretty okay after all.
And hey, Alan? Thanks for finding it for me, love. I won't lose it again...