Scary stories from a lovely place
Most girls dream about their wedding day. The flowers, the dress, the bridal party. Some dream about the wedding more than the guy. And the other main thing girls dream about is of course the engagement ring – the stone, the setting and the all important factor, the size.
While I had always thought about what my wedding would be like, and who on earth I would marry, I hadn’t devoted much time to the ring. When I heard people’s lovely stories of engagement I would think about how I wanted marriage to be proposed to me. When I worked at RM Williams I went through a pretty big horse/country boy phase and had this idea that it would be cool to be given a horse with an engagement ring tied to the saddle.
When it came my turn to be asked Stephen didn’t disappoint. He asked me to marry him atop a very big sand hill at Kidd’s Beach in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. I shouted yes, we took turns running and jumping off the sand hill and then partook of a killer picnic lunch.
And when it came time to hand over the ring I wasn’t disappointed. I hadn’t given Stephen much direction in terms of what I wanted, although I had firmly stipulated it wasn’t to be a diamond.
And so he trawled Jozi’s jewellery stores in search of a ruby engagement ring. He had little success and was consistently asked “are you sure that’s what she wants” by the diamond-blinkered saleswomen. Eventually a lovely man at Rosebank Mall told Stephen he would make one. Stephen designed a beautiful setting for my lovely dark red ruby. It’s brutal simplicity is offset by complex symmetry, as any good architectural design should be.
Even though my ring garnered lots of rude comments from forward South Africans – “it’s pretty small” – I love it. I used to picture Stephen visiting Rosebank Mall each weekend to check on its progress and then holding it in his palm and imagining me saying yes.
Anyway, the point of this story is just to share that about 5 weeks ago I lost the ring. And today, we found it. We’d both searched different parts of the house, but today while the kids napped, we tore the bedroom apart. And found it, underneath a little tabletop bookshelf with a false bottom that we had looked under many times previously. Hooray! I am so happy.
This isn’t the first time I have lost the ring for an extended period of time and not been able to find it after many searches. The first time it was only lost for a couple of weeks and in all honesty I blamed some of our homeless friends who used to be in our house on occasion. Poor guys, it wasn’t their fault. But then Stephen found it under some papers. The second time it was gone for a lot longer and we looked everywhere, I even shone a torch through some sizable gaps in our floorboards. But then I found it in my dressing gown pocket. Phew.
And now I’m glad it’s found again. It’s just a thing, but it’s imbued with a lot of meaning for me and Stephen and I don’t want a different one. I feel a bit like that lady in Jesus’ parable who sweeps her house to find a precious coin. It was valueless, except to it’s owner, to who it meant the world.