Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rachel's Ring

It was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. Simple, with only one diamond, but also old-fashioned looking with carving along the sides. But it wasn't for sale. Rachel was working on campus at the lost and found. She fell in love with the ring even before she fell in love with her husband to be. She waited to see who would claim the ring from the lost and found desk. She wondered about the person who had such exquisite taste, who loved the antique look as she did. But no one came. Months passed and no one came.

Finally it was the end of the year. Some of the items that went unclaimed at lost and found were sold in the spring when the campus slowed down. If they had been in the office for a certain amount of time, they could be sold in the end of the year sale. Fine jewelry was the exception. This type of item was kept a little longer, but instead of being sold as is, it was melted down to be sold for scrap. Rachel could hardly bear to see "her" beautiful ring melted into scrap. She asked for permission to buy it. Just this once. She was getting married and the ring was the ring of her dreams. She absolutely wanted it to seal her marriage to the man of her dreams. The answer was no. Finally she got permission to take it to a jewelry store and have a copy made.

So Rachel and her fiancée took the ring to a jeweler and paid to make a copy, then returned the original and turned it over to be recycled. Rachel's fiancée bought a beautiful diamond for the setting she loved.  Five years later Rachel was dead, killed in a tragic accident and the ring was homeless. Her grieving husband seemed lost for a time and he gave it to us to keep for her two daughters. Then he moved on and he and his new wife took the daughters with him to another state. They cut off contact with us.

Rachel's setting with topaz birthstone
Our family grieved anew. We lost our Rachel and now those two sweet girls. We put the ring in our safe deposit box, trusting that someday we would regain our lost granddaughters. Surely they would be interested in the story of their mother's beautiful ring. Rachel's sisters missed her and they missed their nieces. They remembered her ring and thought about its meaning to them. Two of them expressed a desire to have the ring for their own. My husband and I didn't know what to do. The story of Solomon came to mind. How could we divide such a loved remembrance? One ring, three sisters, and someday the two daughters. It didn't work.

Then we remembered the origin of this particular ring. It had been lost and then found. It was to be destroyed, but it was renewed. This Christmas season we took Rachel's ring to the same jeweler who made it as a copy of the lost original. We asked for three more copies. We asked about making another copy in the future. Yes, it could be done. Each new ring became unique as the birthstones of Rachel's three sisters were set in each one. Each ring was beautiful, just as Rachel's ring was. The rings could be said to represent the individual personality of each woman, bound together as sisters in the same setting. Rachel's ring went back to the safe deposit box to await another restoration. And this Christmas has been a happy one.

1 comment:

  1. I love how initially there was no easy way out, but then the solution was both loving and simple.