Today I finally got my ring back.
My mother in law and I headed to a tiny jewelry shop called "El Centro" at the edge of a strip mall on the dodgy side of town and trapsed inside ready to reclaim our possessions. As we walked inside, I held tiny Harper to my chest and imagined a dingy, overstuffed, dusty little place with an old, pudgy man selling jewelry from behind a ticket booth window.
Instead, we walked into a well-lit, clean, homey little shop. The owner of the shop was a 40-something woman with long, beautiful hair, a pretty smile, and a sizable rock of her own on her left hand. She pulled a little manila envelope from a safety deposit box in the back of the store. We inspected the items. I slipped the ring back onto my finger. The woman said she was sorry this had happened to us. We seethed. We paid them the $279 for it. And, that was pretty much it. It all seemed so uneventful.
Next, we took it to a more trusted jeweler in town, a friend of my in-laws. He inspected and cleaned the ring while we vented about El Centro. Surely they must have known the goods were stolen. Why would they buy stolen property? And, worst of all, why would they make us pay to get it back. But, the jeweler said, "your ring being sold to a pawn shop was about the best chance you had of getting it back." Hmmm, true. Of all the characters in this odd mini saga, each one led us back to the ring. And now it is recovered. Shiny, polished, and pristine. It felt more exciting than having the ring slipped on my finger for the first time. There, in that tiny, unassuming little pawn shop.
In our last night in our apartment, we took our last evening walk with the girls through a park near our home. The sun was low in the sky, the weather was perfect. There was a quiet hush over our sleepy little suburb. Lucas and I marveled at the crispness of everything; we felt completely in the present. We felt finally able to really love and appreciate all that this past season had taught us. Everything looked more beautiful than ever before on a quiet, unassuming walk through our neighborhood.
Every bump along the road has lead us here. Now, on to the next season. Ring on hand.