Two days after Easter 2013…
“Excuse me, I was wondering if you have a lost and found?” I asked the secretary.
“Yes we do, what have you lost?” she replied.
“A ring. It is a thin gold band with a blue sapphire stone. I came to your Easter Sunday church service and I had it on my lap while sitting in the car. When I stood up to get out of the car, I believe it fell on the ground.”
“I’m so sorry you lost your ring,” she replied genuinely. “Where were you parked?”
“In the East grassy overflow parking lot.”
“No one has turned in a ring, but we have had people bring in diamond tennis bracelets and even a diamond solitaire earring before. I think there’s a good chance that someone here will find it. Why don’t you give me your phone number so we can call you if it gets turned in.”
I gave her my Colorado number and my new Florida number. I headed outside with another woman to search.
Walking slowly side by side, we searched the grassy overflow lot. Thankfully most of the grass was dried up and short so the chances of seeing a small shiny thing were good. We saw small shiny things all-right, mostly in the form of pink, silver and blue chocolate candy wrappers. My friend found an official looking laminated name badge with a parent picture on one side and two children’s pictures on the other. We did not see a shiny gold and blue ring. I wasn’t exactly sure where I parked in the East, so our two sets of eyes looked over the whole overflow lot. Who remembers what spot you park in on any given day in any parking lot?
The hubby remembeed where he parked.
Three days after Easter…
I returned to the parking lot with leaf rake in hand. I was on my way to a Writers Meet-up group for the first time. I left myself 20 minutes to find that ring now that I had a specific location and a rake. Twenty minutes later the ring remained lost. I returned to my car, put the rake in, and was about to leave when a man walked to a car across from mine. I noticed his somewhat official looking t-shirt and the fact there were kids and adults arriving at the church. I picked up the name badge.
“Excuse me, I was looking for something I lost and in the process came across this name badge. It looks like it might be important to someone. Would you know how to get this to the person it belongs to?”
The man took it from my hand. “I think I can find somewhere to take it. Did you find what you were looking for?”
“No. I lost a ring on Easter Sunday in the overflow lot. I’ve looked two days in a row. I think I might come back tomorrow with a metal dector.”
“I bet if you google that, you can find a place around here to rent one. Maybe I will round up some kids later and see if they can look around for you. Why don’t you give me your phone number and I will call you if we find your ring.”
I thanked the kind stranger and gave him my number.
I had just enough time to make it yet another new place and another new thing to try with another new group of people. Three minutes later, my phone rings. It was a teenager.
“Hi, um, this is, um well did you lose a ring, because we found your ring.”
I almost drove into the curb. Instead I turned around, bee-lined it for the church and met a grinning group of teenagers in the parking lot. A boy came forward from the group, bent over with one arm behind his back and the other extending the ring out to me.
“Your ring miss.” He said, so very prince-like.
“Thank you kind sir.” I said with responding curtsy.
The man with the somewhat official shirt told me that he asked asked some kids to come and look for the ring.
“It took maybe fifteen seconds, then a boy leaned over and picked it up.”
I was in awe of the teen’s willingness, eyesight, and humble enthusiasm.
I was late to the Writers Meet-up group where I was prepared to share my writing about how afraid I was of parenting teenagers (due to the teenagers-are-terrible reputations) and how much I ended up loving my own and other teens too.
Thank you young man. Your fifteen seconds made my lost a found.