For a number of years, I have worn a silver chain with a St. Michael medallion and a Celtic cross, both engraved with my grandchildren’s initials. Then, at some point, I added another silver chain with a diamond ring on it that belonged to my grandfather, who died before I could know him.
After my mother bequeathed the ring to me, I wore it for special occasions. I also had a collection of other things back then that were for “special occasions” – an expensive dress and ridiculously high heeled shoes, golden silverware, Polish pottery dinnerware, the “good” Irish linen napkins, etc.
Since the two chains were somewhat delicate, they often tangled up together. I never unclasped them, except for an MRI, when I kept them clutched in my hand. I learned how to untangle them, and I often touched my neck during the day, making sure they were safe.
I have a ritual of going to the Woodbury LaBonne’s Market every Thursday to pick up newspapers and something delectable from the deli. At my latest visit to LaBonne’s, which was so early that I was one of just two cars in the parking lot, as soon as I got out of the car, I had what I call a “Bad Moon Rising” feeling. I picked up three newspapers, then touched my neck. There was only one chain in my hand. I ran into the women’s room and looked into the mirror. Then I ran to the nearest employee and asked if they had a lost and found. She showed me where it was and we both pawed through it, even though I realized this was illogical since I had just entered the store.
I did something I very rarely do . . . in the middle of the store, I cried. One minute later, I paid for my newspapers, ran outside to scour the parking lot and pulled out everything inside my car, under the seats and again, illogically, in the glove compartment. When I got home, I made a desperate and thorough search inside the apartment and all the outdoor spaces I would have walked, then retraced all my steps and all my stops. I took a breath and prayed.
Two days later, I put on the bike shorts that I wear for fast walking on the track every morning, even though they are so tight that I have trouble putting my key in the small pocket. When I returned home to change clothes, there was a small “clunk” on the wood floor when I took off the shorts. It seems impossible that the ring could “fall into” that pocket . . . and yet, I watched it drop out. The chain, with its broken clasp, was laying on the other side of the room.
I decided to take the ring to a jewelry store and have it fitted to wear on my finger because every day is a special occasion. Someone was watching over me, either my spirit guide, St. Anthony, Joan of Arc-my patron, St. Michael the Archangel, or the Divinity . . . I pleaded with them all. And I’m sure my grandfather is out there smiling.