A RING OF LOVE, LOSS AND FAITH: The story of my Christmas miracle

The day after my dad passed away in July, my mom gave each of us kids one of his beloved rings. My dad was such a hard worker all his life, every penny went to providing for us. We knew to appreciate every tiny gift from him because of how much sweat equity he put into it. Plus, he would get so mad if we didn’t take care of our things! Once we moved out of the house as adults, he was able to relax use his extra income to treat himself. Part of that entailed a small collection of custom rings with different types of stones and settings. This one was the brightest of his collection, the stone is a a manly shade of magenta. My mom thought it was perfect for me.

I didn’t care that it was too big, I wore it 24/7. I constantly rubbed my thumb over it, as if doing so would unleash special powers. It did! I think of my dad all the time and fight back the tears by doing good things he would be proud of. Wearing his ring made me feel that even though I couldn’t see him anymore, a little piece of him was still with me.

Three weeks ago I vended at a fun event called Crafeteria at Frances Vintage. It was freezing outside, and my skin became dry and slick. The ring kept sliding down my finger every time I put my hands in my pockets. I made sure to catch it. We sold a lot of merchandise that night, and at one point, I sold a large Chihuahua pillow to a customer and found a big black plastic bag for her to carry it home in.

Right before she left our table, she asked me for a business card in case she wanted to buy a barstool later. I had forgot to bring cards that night, and because I was so relaxed, I had been just told people – “Go to CraftyChica.com” instead of writing down my contact info.

For her, for some reason, I grabbed a piece of paper from my purse and scribbled my number down.
About 30-minutes later I was talking to another vendor, laughing about something, and went to rub my thumb on the ring.

Gone.

I freaked. We all did. Maya, myself, my sister and her friend. We scoured the entire area for the ring. The vendors next to us were even helping us, taking away from their own customers. The only thing we could think of was the lady with the pillow and the big black bag. Could it be that my ring fell in it? We all went on a foot hunt across the event to look for a lady with a big black bag, but she was no where to be found.

That night I went to bed in tears. I had a dream that my dad scolded me. “Kathy, I spent $800 on that ring and had it for years! You only had it for a few months and you lost it!”

My sister didn’t say much, but I could tell she felt let down too. She was smart and put her ring on a chain, my brother had his re-sized. I was the dork who wore it too big. We kept the ordeal a secret from my family.

Losing my dad was hard enough, but losing this object, made the pain fresh again. The feeling of empowerment on my finger had been replaced with disappointment. Every night I prayed, begged, for that lady to find the ring and call me. I had no way to get in touch with her.

One week went by and nothing. Two weeks, nada. Three weeks came around and I started to accept that it may be gone, even though my gut told me different. My solution was to take one of the vintage cameras he gave me and use some of the small parts to create a new ring. I’m all about seeing the glitter jar half full!

Last week while I was in Fresno, I was talking with the other designers about my drama. I told them how a week before it happened, in the parking lot at the grocery store, I’d seen a $20 bill fall out of man’s pocket right before he hopped in and drove away in his truck. I sent Maya to grab it, and we used it for gas. We should have just left it alone. I know the universe works on debits and credits, especially if you live by the rules of karma like I do. I wondered if that stupid $20 cost me my dad’s ring. My friends/co-workers assured me the two were not connected and that there is no way my dad would be mad at me.

I went to bed that night in the hotel room and finally let it go. I made peace with all of it. I told myself it was an OBJECT. Objects come and go, but the true, lasting gifts are the ones we remember in our minds and feel in our hearts. Those can never be lost.

I went into work the next day and received this voice mail on my phone from a lady with a raspy voice.

“Hi, I bought a chihuahua pillow from you a while back and had a question. Can you please call me?”

I knew it had to be either she wanted the barstool – or she found the ring in the big black bag! Part of me prepared to get an order for a barstool, I mean, what are the chances the ring would actually be in the bag, and if it was, how could she find such a tiny thing in such a vast container? But then…another part of me KNEW the ring would come back to me.

We finally connected and… SHE FOUND THE RING!

She said when she arrived home, she took out the pillow, wadded up the bag, tossed it in the trash and heard a loud “clink”. Curious, she walked over, picked up the bag and searched through it. She found the piece of paper that had my scribbled phone number. She said she knew whatever made the “clink” belonged to me.

After I returned to Phoenix, I met the fabulous Katie when I went to her work in Scottsdale to pick up the ring. Here she is all smiling and glowing! I gave her a gift (worth more than $20 to make up for the $20 bill!) and told her I had sent her a lifetime of good karma!

I got in my car, bowed my head, clutched the ring to my chest and said thank you to my dad and the powers that be. I don’t think he was mad at me for losing the ring, but there is no way, even in the afterlife, that he would let it end up in the trash. I truly believe the “clink” she heard was my dad’s doing. As in “Over here, woman! Come look in this bag!”

It sounds cliché, but it is so true: When you think all hope is lost, there is always room for a little faith. No matter how hard, we have to let those worries go and know we’ve done our best. Whatever happens, we will come through! Life’s lessons come in many forms!

QUESTION: Have you ever experienced something like this? Please, please, please share your story in the comments, I think we could all use happy, uplifting thoughts today!

Tomorrow, some will have picture perfect settings and meals, others may not. Even if you have a funky family, are all alone, stressed about money, gift-giving, having to work, deadlines, or feeling frumpy for any reason, give yourself the gift of being thankful for what you do have.

Close your eyes and KNOW that tomorrow is a new day, things will be brighter, a new year is just around the corner. Practice a random act of kindness to a stranger, spend more time with family members you haven’t seen in a while, try a new dish of food, wave hi to the neighbors across the street, EAT THE DESSERT WITHOUT GUILT!

Most of all love, love, LOVE!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Love & light,


18 Responses

  1. I’m so happy for you!! I lost my wedding ring around Halloween. It too slipped off my finger – somewhere!! I called all the stores I’d visited and checked all around the car and the area where I’d walked into the house. Nothing. Like you, I finally let it go. Then 2 weeks later I was walking in the driveway after retrieving the morning paper and heard a little “tinkle” sound. I looked and looked and finally saw the culprit nestled down in the ground. My ring!!! I was so excited!! I think the moral is definitely !!! eat dessert. That way your fingers won’t be shrinking!! Merry Christmas!

  2. This is an amazing story…having lost my own father, I guess it hits close to home. I have been lucky enough to have not lost anything so valuable to me, but can only imagine the trauma. We tend to put so much emotion into an object and make such connections to those that have past before us.
    I really enjoy your blog and your amazing spirit.

  3. This brought joyful tears to my eyes! I am fascinated by the SOUND part…. and Bonney’s comment too… How can a ring sitting on the ground make a sound??? One time at a big birthday party my friend threw for me at a thai restaurant, my husband lost his set of keys. We looked EVERYWHERE for them. Three people searched my car thoroughly to no avail. I tried using my ‘psychic powers’…. nothing. A couple of days later, after shopping at Ross, I was slowly pulling out a parking space while praying for my angles to tell me where the keys were, right then I heard in the back of my hatchback the sound as if a large set of keys were dropped from a distance. I stopped the car right there, jumped out and opened the hatchback and sitting RIGHT IN PLAIN SIGHT ON TOP OF EVERYTHING WERE THE KEYS! I freaked. I turned around trying to find someone to tell the story to, I called people… no one seemed that impressed. It was a miracle and nobody cared! To this day, I believe the keys weren’t in the back until I asked for help. I think my angel plopped them down for me. So I am not surprised in the least that the woman found your ring what with your Dad on the other side pulling strings! I’m so happy you found it, now go get that purty ring resized!

  4. What a heartwarming story Kathy. So perfect here at Christmas time. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but I know things like that have happened to me before. I too lost my father last year, so I know how special things that belonged to him are to me. I can only imagine the awful pain you felt when you thought you had lost his ring. I’m so happy this turned out the way it did for you.

    I have been in therapy following my dad’s death and my therapist told me that one of the most important things we can do is to carry something that belonged to our deceased loved one on our person. Whether it’s a belt, a ring, a comb, a key chain whatever it is. So that ring is helping you in so many ways. I think God and your dad were responsible for seeing to it that you got that ring back!
    Kathy, you bring joy to so many people, and you are such an inspiration.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.
    ~Sonya

  5. So, about a couple of months ago, my hubby and I went to Ark. to pick up a little Chihuahua and a Yorkie, both puppy mill mamas, from a wonderful woman named Michele. We ended up with a Maltese as well. Anyway, on the way home, we stopped in Bella Vista Arkansas for a pee break. Dave went into a Dollar General for harnesses, but they only had collars, so he got them all pretty new collars and a retractable leash.
    While at a grassy area by a gas station, Fanny, the chi, twisted out of the collar, got away from us and headed for a river, with David right behind. He trashed his iphone and his glasses (got the glasses back – phone is dead), slipped on a concrete spillway, and was almost impaled on rebar. After at least an hour, he came back to the truck soppy wet, scraped and bruised, but with no dog. He was distraught, blaming himself, saying we should have known better than to trust a collar on a chubby-necked little Chi. He couldn’t understand why God had allowed this to happen. Fanny was safe and happy at Michele’s house, and less than an hour after we adopted her, she was gone.
    Dave went back down in a couple of days and posted reward flyers and put an ad in the paper which wouldn’t run until Sunday. In the meantime, I called Michele, who made a couple of trips to Bella Vista in hopes of finding Fanny with no results.
    On Sunday afternoon, a gal called me saying she had seen a little brown Chi on her deck but couldn’t catch it. I asked her to put out a live trap and try again. Nothing.
    A couple of weeks later, I received a call from the principal of an elementary school next to the park where we were looking for Fanny. A couple of the children had brought in a little brown Chi, who looked like the picture in the newspaper. Apparently, she was attracted to the kids, and simply walked into the playground. They gave her a bath, fed her, and were busy loving on her. I started making calls to find someone who could go get Fanny until Dave and I could get down there. Finally, it was settled that Michele would go get her and bring her back home with her until we could make it back to Arkansas. She called after she got Fan-Fan, as she calls her, and said that the whole school turned out to kiss Fanny goodbye. She also said a newspaper reporter had asked her questions about the whole situation.
    Before long, the reporter called me, and I told her the whole story. She said that she had told the children about the reward, and they decided they wanted to donate it to the animal shelter in Bella Vista! We drove back to Arkansas, was reunited with Fanny, and all is well. Our faith has been restored, we have a new family member, and she even goes out without a leash now!

  6. That is a Christmas miracle, I’m glad you were able to find your father’s ring. It’s gorgeous! You need to get that bad boy re-sized- no more freak outs! lol. Happy Holidays 🙂

  7. i, also have two of my fathers rings, his college ring from Baruch College in New York and a ring that his sisters gave him. I wear the college ring on a chain and the other my right ring finger. i feel that they are a part of him that is also with me. I am so glad to hear that you were able to recover the ring.

    happy yuletide!!

  8. Isn’t it amazing how many rings are lost and then somehow do turn up? My husband and I have been married 33 years now. When we had been married about 15 years, his original wedding band disappeared…We searched everywhere, but being a surgeon, he decided he had somehow lost it at the hospital. We purchased a new one, but, to me, it just wasn’t the same. About 2 years later I was getting items marked for a garage sale. While folding some of his discarded jeans, I heard that same “clinking” sound–you know when gold hits concrete. Yes! It was his original wedding band. It is the only ring he now wears and I love him for choosing it over the newer version!
    Have a Blessed holiday, everyone!
    Suzanne in TX

  9. I love this story! I lost my wedding ring last year and was so happy and amazed when it turned up in an unexpected place weeks later.

    BUT – the best story I know like this is this one.

    When I was a child my father lost all the cash from his paycheck. This was the mortgage money and there was no extra to be had. Even though I was a child I knew how worried both my parent were. They had all of us kids searching the backyard and they tore apart the house.

    About a week later we drove to visit my grandmother. Dad stopped at the liquor store (which he did whenever he visited my grandma) to get some “libations” to share. He stepped out of the truck into the street of dried mud (they were widening the road). As he stepped out he looked down and saw, ground into the heavy equipment tire tracks, his money clip with all of his money in it. He had stopped to visit my grandmother the week before.

    Even as a child it was clear how relieved and awestruck my parents were.

  10. Ah, good ol’ Saint Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost items has been a good friend of mine for a lot of years.

    I tend to lose things!

    Saint Anthony has taught me that being able to let go of the object is vital. Accepting the loss somehow makes it return. I don’t understand it, but I know it is true.

    I’d lost a very beautiful and emotionally precious ring my best friend (and maid of honor) gave me for my wedding day. A dazzling blue sapphire ring. Stunning!

    It was lost for six months. I was heartsick. It had so much powerful meaning to me and I’d LOST it. I’d taken it off after the reception and had no idea where it had gone.

    I refused to give up. I was really a wreck about the ring.

    Finally…finally…after six months. A long time for a lost item! Six months, with a lot of prayer and forgiving myself for being such a dunce, I gave up. I let it go to the universe and found peace.

    About a month after that, I was cleaning out my vanity to make room for some other jewelry and was culling out items to give away. At the bottom of the drawer I found a little pouch with my ring.

    I have no idea how it got there. There is NO viable explanation.

    But there is was. I cried my eyes out. I’m crying telling it again.

    Ah Saint Anthony. Such powerful lessons you have for us!

    Congratulations on finding the ring and also for finding such a wonderful customer who made sure you got it back!

    That is a beautiful Christmas story!

  11. Kathy, I’m so glad you got the ring back. I love stories like these, so fascinating and uplifting!

    I have one, too:

    In Junior High, I bought a pair of handmade sterling silver earrings while on vacation in Colorado. I wore them constantly for the next several years. They reminded me of the beauty of the mountains, and more importantly, were a tangible link to who I wanted to be when I grew up.

    Fast forward three years: At a large music and craft festival I lost one of the earrings. I was heartbroken, but quickly resigned myself to the fact that It was gone forever. After all, there were thousands of people there, and the festival area covered an entire town, so what chance did I have of ever seeing the earring again?

    A few days later I ran into my brother, whom I hadn’t seen since he arrived at the festival. As we stood and chatted, he suddenly said “Oh yeah, I found something you might like…” then reached in his pocket and pulled out my earring! He said he’d spotted it on the ground and thought I had a pair like it, and so picked it up for me as a “spare,” in case I ever lost one.

    150 miles from home, I lost an earring in a crowd of 15,000 people. 48 hours later, my brother, out of all 15, 000 people, found it, and actually thought to pick it up and show it to me.

    Every time I think about that moment, when I saw my lost earring in my own brother’s hand, I’m reminded that the Universe is not a place of utter chaos, as so many would have us believe.

    xox,
    Susan

    confessionsofasineater.blogspot.com

  12. What a wonderful story. I am so happy for you. I had a similar story, but no happy ending. My mom had three or four rings she loved. After she died, I gave my daughter the two she liked and kept the one I loved. I took it to the store to be sized. It was weeks and weeks. Then I hear from the store, “after the ring came back into the store, it was stolen.” Apparently an employee took it. I was devastated..still am after two years. I am so very happy for you that you got your dad’s ring back. I know what it must mean to you.

    Jenny

  13. I am late coming to this post but here goes. My mother died just short of two weeks ago. She was living in Houston and we buried her in Brownsville. She always loved her bling and had over the years shared some pieces with each of her daughters.
    When I arrived at the funeral home, my sister in law and I noticed that my mom did not have earrings on. That was forgotten in our grief. I took the earrings I was wearing off but we could not get those on my mom. I remembered that since I had traveled, I had brought some other earrings with me. I had some in the car, in my bag that my mom had given me. I retrieved them and they slipped into her ears easily. She was buried wearing the earrings that she had given me and that I had enjoyed wearing for several years. I will always feel an added bond for that and it felt so perfect.
    It’s different than finding a lost item but it feels a little like these stories. I just happened to pack those earrings.
    It was meant to be.

  14. I love a good story.
    here is one for the books.When one good deed became for two.Some years back.My best friend was having a rough time and she needed a few items from grocery store, but no money in sight.I decided to go to the grocery store and buy just a few items to help out.Now mind you there was not enough money to cover the check. I say to myself “God will be there for us”.As I get to the cashier a man gets behind me.Now I don’t go around saying Hello,but I did.And out of the blue he tells me if I buy your groceries will you give me a ride.I live just around the corner.I’m in alot of pain.My head said “NO”.He had a slight limp in the right leg. He was a chicano mid 50 husky I don’t know he had that look of a Tio.I tell him you don’t have to buy my groceries I will give you a ride home.The whole time I’m thinking my husband is going to be pissed.We get in my truck go 2 blocks away from store.He gets out grabs his groceries from the back of my Truck and tells me God Bless you and Thank you.I’m slowly driving away and I say Thank you God for sitting bettween me and the stranger.I look down at the seat where God is to be sitting and there was a brand new $20.00 bill. I cried all the way to my friends house of course, she is already crying because of my gift to her.We were balling our eyes from the strangers gift too.And that check cleared with no problem 7 days later.Thank you my Chicano Angel

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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