Photo: Corbin Gurkin Photography
Perhaps the most exciting part of getting engaged was the moment he slipped that sparkler on your finger. For these three women, the worst moment of their lives followed: losing the ring! But the ultimate lesson: never give up hope.
The Bride Who Lost the Ring Minutes After Getting Engaged
Madhavi Jagdish's longtime boyfriend popped the question during a hike overlooking a beautiful vista in San Francisco. "Of course I said yes. We then met up with some friends who were so excited and happy for us!" Traveling in the back seat of a friend's Mini Cooper, headed to a German beer garden, Madhavi slipped off her ring, placing it on her thigh as she fished around in her bag for hand lotion.
The ring slid into a hole below the seat. Frantic, Madhavi yelled, "Stop the car!" The driver complied and a frantic search ensured. "We looked on the road, under the seat...No luck!"
Her life flashing before her eyes, she sat back in the car. Not ready to admit defeat Madhavi studied the hole the ring had fallen into. "I have tiny fingers — ring size 4.5 — so I slipped my pinkie in and felt around." To her amazement and immense relief she felt the ring.
"We pried the seats apart. I managed to loop the ring around my finger and pull it out."
From that day on she has taken meticulous care of the ring but to be on the safe side — her diamond is now fully insured.
The Bride Who Lost Her Ring While Doing a Good Deed
Two months before her wedding *Leslie Jones dropped a sandwich into the cup of a homeless man who was regularly stationed in her neighborhood. Several hours later, as she prepared to go to sleep, Leslie realized the tuna on rye wasn't the only thing she'd donated — her ring was gone.
The next morning she hunted for blocks, searching for the accidental beneficiary of her most beloved possession. "After an hour of hunting I found him and explained what had happened. He immediately gave it back!"
Bolts of joy and gratitude raced through her. "I was so grateful I instantly started a fund to raise money for Bill." Enough was raised to get him off the street.
The Bride Who Lost Her Ring in the Great Outdoors
Not many women could say they lost their engagement ring while studying state-threatened ornate box turtles, but that's what happened to Kimberly Schmidt. The herpetologist (meaning she studies reptiles) was wearing her ring while participating in a turtle tracking study in tall grass prairie. "The day was gloomy, gray and bitter cold with whipping winds." Disaster: she lost it! "I'd walked miles that day through three to seven-foot tall vegetation. The ring could have been anywhere."
Kim recalls, shuddering, "My heart skipped a beat and my stomach filled with dread. I never thought I'd care so much about an object, but to lose a symbol of your love...was entirely different."
She tried to retrace her steps, but found nothing. Though Kim dreaded calling her fiancé, his reaction was a sweet: "Well, baby, that's why I had the ring insured."
A week later Kim and a friend tried to relocate the ring, using a metal detector. No luck. Fast-forward a year. Kim was back in the prairie, tracking turtles. A fellow herpetologist, Patricia noticed something shiny in the soot. Yep é it was the ring, all covered with soot. "The hooting and hollering began! My ring had survived two prescribed fires and almost 400 days in the prairie!"
Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.
*Name has been changed