Last May, two months into our 30th year of marriage, on her last day of class, she spent the day packing up her classroom, lugging some stuff home, storing some stuff in her cabinets at school, and throwing out much of the used stuff from the class year that just ended. That evening we went out to Panera Bread for a light dinner, then to a couple of Walmarts to get a foam mattress pad for her to take to my daughter Emily in Dallas. After our second unsuccessful trip into a Walmart she gets back into the car, puts her hand on the steering wheel and cries “My ring! The diamond is gone!!”.
Sure enough, half the engagement band along with the diamond was missing. It looked like it had been yanked out of the setting by force, leaving about 1/3 of the engagement ring still welded inside the ring guard.
We went back into that Walmart and looked around on the floor and in the shelf where she had pulled a few pads out to feel them. No luck. We went back to Panera Bread and looked around in the parking lot where we parked and inside where we walked and sat. No luck. We went home and inspected ever inch, nook and cranny of the car. No luck. We went through every box she had packed and brought home. Nothing. It must have been lost at school she thought. But there was no way to get back into the school and she was driving to Colorado the next day. She sent an email to her team at school letting them know and what to look for. No one of course had seen it, the janitors were notified to be on the lookout, but they had already swept all the floors and thrown out the trash. We were hopeful it was in a box she packed up and she would find it in September.
“The good news”, she said, “is it is insured so we can get a replacement diamond. I need a bigger one anyway.” Me, uh oh. We had changed insurance companies the prior summer. All our jewelry was separately scheduled under a rider on that old policy. I did not think to do that with the new policy. I checked. Nope, not insured.
So, beginning the last week of May, she went without a wedding ring. September came, back in class, she goes through the boxes of stuff she’d packed away. Nothing. All hope is lost. I’m going to have to buy a replacement straight out, no insurance, no trade-in. I had planned on upgrading the diamond for our 30th anniversary, March 9th of this year, anyway. I told her she’d have to wait until then as we didn’t have the money laying around to make that big of a purchase. Every week or so since May she’d take the opportunity to flash her ringless hand to me, reminding me of what was missing.
The Saturday before Christmas I decided to get her the replacement for Christmas. I looked at some sites online and found that the diamonds there were not as expensive as I had expected. I found one I liked. The site had videos of each individual diamond so you could see exactly what you were getting. It came with a GIA certificate so I was confident of a sight-unseen purchase. I was able to afford a larger diamond and even better quality that the first diamond. So, an upgrade in both size and quality. However, it could not be set into another engagement band and delivered until mid-January. So, nothing to "give" for Christmas.
I hurriedly made a video, put it on a flash drive, put it in her stocking with a note that said, “Play me”. It was about 4 minutes long, sort of chronicling our 30 years of marriage; pictures of our wedding, homes we lived in, Christmas trees over the years, our traditions of matching Christmas pajamas and video clips from our wedding, each child's first steps, etc. I wish I’d had more time to put it together but with only 2 days to find the pictures and video clips, and with my limited skills, I think I did pretty good. Still, every time I watch it I think "You should have done this" or "Not that picture!". It ended with the site video of the diamond and a message "Arriving January 13th". The music is Pachelbel: Canon in D by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra which was our Lamaze music. Unfortunately my wife could not deliver and she ended up with a C-section (all 4), but that music is what played at least 10 times during the 20+ hours of labor prior to that 1st c-section.
I hesitated to post the video, but what the heck. We know what Bob weighed every Monday for the past 17 years. And yes, I might have have a few drinks in the one picture, but we were on the beach in Aruba and it was a short walk back to the hotel. My kids can't believe out of all the pictures we have, I put that one in. Eh....it was a good day.
This year's Razzy winner
The new diamond (and engagement ring) arrived in January as expected and we had it welded inside the existing ring guard. She now had a wedding ring back on her hand, with an upgrade, after going 8 months without one. All was now good. We were still sad that the original diamond was gone, not for the financial value but for the sentimental value
Saturday, two weeks ago we drove to the Smokey Mountains for Spring Break, just us and another couple. Emily and her husband had come down to stay in our house for a couple of days to visit with some local friends. As we’re driving between Biloxi, MS and Mobile, AL, Emily’s husband video calls Mrs. BiT and tells her “I’ve got to tell you something, but don’t freak out.” We are thinking they broke something, or our dog got injured.
He then shows her this…
We’ve been out in the garage a hundred times since May, moving boxes around, getting things out, putting things back, etc. We are beside ourselves with joy. Now we need to decide what to do with it. Mrs. BiT is thinking of making it into a pedant necklace. I'm thinking I will put it in an insurance policy.