The Lost Ring

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My father died when I was 5 years old. My cousin Audrey, who lived in Boston, lost her mother when she was 10 years old. My mother and Audrey’s mother were sisters, so of course my mother knew her father. They were all from Canada, but somehow got separated, one going to Boston and one going to Maine.

In 1941, my mother married Audrey’s father, thus making her not only my first cousin, but my stepsister. We are very close as there is only 364 days difference in our ages.

We both volunteered at the U.S.O during World War II in Boston. We both met our future husbands there. Audrey was married in 1945 and I was married in 1946. Audrey lives in Virginia now; we take turns spending our yearly vacations with each other.

One vacation a few years ago while I was in Virginia, we went to Tennessee to see Dolly Parton. We had a wonderful time and went to the “Grand Old Opry.” We stayed in a little motel where everyone was so nice to us.

On our way home, we were having a lot of trouble with Audrey’s car. It was making noises and running hot. We thought if we could only get as far as Virginia, Audrey’s son could come and pick us up if the car conked out.

We were coaxing the car along on a wing and a prayer, when all of a sudden, I looked down and saw my diamond “pinky” ring was missing.

I panicked and called out to Audrey, “My ring is missing!”

She said, “Oh Helen, don’t tease me at a time like this.” I said I was serious and pointed to my little finger.

We stopped at the next gas station and called the motel to ask if anyone found my ring.

The lady said, “Hold on a minute, we’ll go look.” She came back and said they found it on the floor under the dresser.

Since we were halfway home and too far to go back with our unreliable car, I asked if she would send the ring to me at Audrey’s address. She said she would be glad to.

I waited two days before I went to the mailbox expecting it. Then it was three days, and no ring. Four days passed, and still no ring. I was to leave the next day so you could imagine how upset we both were.

The next day I literally ran to the mailbox even before the poor mailman had finished putting the mail in. There, to my relief, was a little box, and in it was my ring! I was so thrilled I not only sent the postage, but also a check of appreciation to the motel.

I left that afternoon for home with a light and grateful heart.

Helen Hampton is a member of the writing class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. It is held off-campus at the Norwalk Senior Center.

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