I rallied to not get upset about it at the time and finished my plans with my parents. We looked around with a flashlight, but a few of you have experienced my parents' house and understand that finding a small dark blue stone within those walls was beyond needle in haystack comparisons.
I thought about Twittering my frustration or writing this entry as soon as I got home, but Rich was playing a hockey game and I didn't want him to find out from the Internet before he found out from me. When Rich came home he was obviously in a great mood, which can be such a crap shoot when hockey is involved. The Flyers had won, his own team had won and everything was coming up roses. When he asked how I was and I told him about the ring, it was like I had poked him with a pin and he just deflated right before my eyes.
But his look of hurt quickly turned into anger and frustration. He said it's one of the largest purchases of his life and it was something for me and he wanted it back together. I (stupidly) told him we could get another ring. He countered that he didn't want another ring; he wanted the one that he picked out for me and gave me on the beach by our house when he asked me to marry him. And then I felt like an ass for not being upset.
I was trying so hard to be cool about it for him and he was so absolutely furious for my sake that we were on totally different pages. When I first looked down and noticed it was gone, I was at Mom and Dad's and the atmosphere was just all wrong for me to burst into tears. My parents are practical to a fault and even had discussed not getting an engagement ring for my mother back in 1967 because they could have used that money to buy a used car. Daddy doesn't have a wedding ring at all, and he's still very much married and committed to Mom. They did decide on a ring for Mom after all because they said the car wouldn't last, but the ring would. Ironically, Mom's ring setting became loose eventually and it would have cost more to replace than the ring was worth, so it's in a drawer somewhere. Sitting between my parents and knowing how solid they are despite a lack of jewelry, it seemed silly for me to get upset about a stone.
Shortly after Rich and I were dating, Rich gave me a pair of sapphire earrings (notice a theme in my favorite stone?). We were in Richmond that evening and I slept in them so I wouldn't lose them. The next day when I drove home, I got a flat tire and had to change my tire on the side of the interstate. When I was almost home, I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed one of my earrings was missing, most likely somewhere on the side of the road near Williamsburg.
I called Rich and blubberred into the phone. I told him that he shouldn't ever bother giving me anything nice again because I would just mess it up or lose it. I was so happy that morning on a bright sunny day and so proud of myself for taking care of my tire on my own and seeing that missing earring knocked the wind out of me just like I had done to Rich Monday night. I just had a little more practice this time in losing sapphires and trying to keep perspective.
While waiting for Rich to get home, I thought about all those families earlier that day that had watched their homes destroyed in tornadoes or people who aren't married to the perfect person and I kept reminding myself that it's just a gem but everything that's important is still completely intact.
I understand Rich's frustration and I think I would have been far less calm about it had I not been at Mom and Dad's and had I not been doing so much soul searching lately about how unbelievably happy I am overall. The ring is damaged, but not lost. And really Rich is plenty shiny enough for me on his own. The smile on my face is an outward symbol of our love as much as any piece of jewelry.