Diamonds lost in the snow
Posted on January 2, 2011
Two weeks ago, back when the snow was new and exciting, Lizzie lost her engagement ring and was totally heartbroken. Read her amazing story of what happened next…
The unthinkable had happened. Last week, I lost my engagement ring. Worse; I didn’t even know when. Ever looked for diamonds in the snow? It’s like hunting for a needle in the haystack, only much, much more painful.
It dawned on me just after finishing the washing up. I reached to the windowsill and into empty space. With growing panic, I checked every inch of my coat, handbag, gloves. Trying not to sound like I was losing my mind, I asked my fiancé if he’d seen it anywhere. Trying to sound equally calm, he said that he hadn’t.
I sped out into the snowy, dark street, and legged it up the road to ICAN, eyes glued to the frozen ground. Maybe it was on my desk. Maybe I’d dropped it taking my gloves off coming through the door. Maybe the cleaner found it. Maybe it was somewhere in the snow… My last memory of wearing it was lunchtime, as I walked to Stephen’s Green. My fiancé was holding my gloved hand; I’d felt my fingers squash against it.
For a freezing week, I slid round the streets of Dublin, retracing my steps, getting sadder with every loop and fresh batch of snow. I went in and out of shops that I’d been that Thursday afternoon. I became convinced I’d dropped it in the foyer of Stephen’s Green and pestered security every day, hoping for a miracle. I was too upset to talk to any friends about it. If they asked, I’d say it was being re-sized. If only! We’d be talking about how it was too big for me the day before I lost it.
It was nowhere.
I made ‘Lost’ signs, and mournfully sellotaped them to lamp posts around town. While sticking one up on our road, my neighbour Willie, resident in the street since the 60’s and the famous mechanic of Carlingford Motors, asked me what I was up to. I told him the story, and everywhere I’d been the day I’d lost it, finishing up with playing snowballs on the street. He said immediately, ‘It’ll be here on the street Liz. Came off when your hands got cold. And, I’ll find it.’
I liked his enthusiasm. My fiancé had just told me it probably wasn’t insured. Even if it had been, the ring had been made with beautiful diamonds that had come from an antique brooch given to him by his mother, so was irreplaceable.
A week later, the snow and ice began to melt. I started imagining I could see it everywhere, sparkling in the slush, edging ever closer to some bottomless drain. I knew that time was running out.
On the day of our staff Christmas Party, I went home to get changed. Said hi to Willie on my way past. When I came out of the house, he was stood there eyes sparkling, hands behind his back. ‘Will you marry me Liz?’ he said as he produced a lump of ice from behind his back. “No” I yelled, “but I’ll love you forever!’ I grabbed it from him, melting the ice my hands as I hugged and I hugged and I hugged him.
Amazingly, at no point, had he ever blamed me or got angry. He’d been sad, he’d help me look, he’d shared responsibility about us not having it resized. He’d said that at the end of the day it was only a thing. Just a thing.
Sometimes, losing something can make you realise what you’ve found.
Lizzie, Willie and the ring! And Rocky the cat for good measure.