The Ring

Many years ago, when things were going a lot better for me, I bought a diamond ring which was from an estate sale. I paid $400 and had an independent appraisal of $1,200. I treasured that ring and only took it off when I was working doing messy renovations. After I had virtually everything stolen from me in Panama I was glad I was wearing my ring and it didn’t get stolen.

After I returned from Panama with virtually nothing the ring was always a reminder of better times and I hoped someday to be out of the mess I was in. Things only got worse for me after I moved to London and the low point was sleeping on an office floor and then ending up in The Mission, the worst place ever to stay in. I had no money and was truly desperate. I had sold off whatever possessions I had, like my pool cue, but I needed money desperately. I was downtown at the welfare office, who had just refused to give me a bus ticket to get back to the shelter, and I saw the sign for the jeweler who bought gold. He offered me a paltry $80 even though I had the appraisal. It was basically “take it or leave it” and I had no choice, so I gave up my ring. It was a symbol of how low I was.

As I picked myself up; got a job and a place to live and gradually got ahead of myself and could buy more than food, I thought of my ring and wondered if it was still there, two years later. I went to the jeweler and was delighted to see my ring, all shined up. He was asking $300 for the ring he paid $80 for. After some negotiation he agreed to sell me my own ring for $240. I have been putting money down on it as I could squeeze out a few bucks. Last Friday I managed to pay the remaining balance and get my ring back. I appreciate it more than I ever did and I feel it is a symbol that I am going to have a better life, despite all the things that are not good right now. I look down at the ring and pray someday to be back in my beloved Okanagan with the friends I treasured, maybe sitting on the lake in my boat again. I would have to get my health back and lose the weight I’ve gained, which seem like lofty goals, but somehow having my ring back makes me believe it’s possible.

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