Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Christmas Story

Once upon a time, like say, back in 2012, a series of unfortunate events occurred. One of those things was a robbery where all my jewellery was stolen. 

Because I was insured, a settlement of $20,000 was agreed upon. $15,000 of that went into replacing my roof because raccoons and rats and possums had removed the cedar shakes and made a nice wide entrance for themselves and their partying friends. 

And I bought myself a diamond ring with the balance. 

Not a day has gone by since then when I look at that ring on my finger and feel like a fake. That ring is not someone's symbol of their love for me. That ring holds no special romantic meaning. There is no history behind it; it didn't used to belong to a great grandmother. It was a spontaneous purchase to celebrate my survival of a very tough year. A $200 ring would have been adequate for that. 

On Friday, I worked. Then drove into Vancouver with a friend. Parked about a kilometer away from where we wanted to be, so we walked in the rain. Over my head was my broken umbrella and on my feet were my not-water-proof shoes. We had supper outside eating pure awesomeness from the Food Trucks parked at the PNE, then wandered around the Make-It Christmas Market in the Forum Building with thousands of other seasonal shoppers and another different friend. 

Hours later, while showering, I noticed that my ring was not on my finger. I immediately felt ill. It's not insured (I'm living in my mom's house, though, so maybe it was covered on her policy. I was sure it was not) and I had no idea how long it had been off my finger. A few seconds? Had it fallen down the drain? A few minutes? Was it still in my truck? Or in the bathroom on the floor? In the house? Or had it been missing for hours? Was it in the parking lot at the PNE? In the Forum Building? At work? In the parking lot at work? It could've been anywhere, but I had a feeling it was down the drain. 

"God? You know exactly where it is. And I'm just going to be sad for awhile longer then leave it with you. There are so many other prayer requests that are way more important than this one. And to be honest, some of those other things I keep  badgering you about? I'd rather You spent Your energy on those. This was just a ring. And probably I shouldn't have even had it in the first place. So I'm OK if the person who's found it needs it more than me. In fact, I'd feel better about that than thinking it's at the bottom of the sewage tank after falling down the drain. Your will be done. Seriously. Your will be done. And if it IS covered by mom's insurance... I won't buy any more jewellery. I'll use the money in other ways. Amen."

I sent a message to the Obros letting them know I lost it. 

I chatted online with Kim (who'd been at the show with me) and she suggested I call the police, in case someone found it. She was sure it would be turned in somewhere. She checked Craigslist right away. It is good having younger Vancouver-based friends who know things. 

And then I went to bed, knowing that there was a good chance my ring was in the shower drain and I'd have to clean a whole pile of slimy sludge to get at it. 

I stayed in bed for a really long time on Saturday. I had no reason to get up and if my ring was in the messy shower drain, it wasn't going anywhere anyways. So I just sat in my bed wondering how I'd keep my gag reflex in check in the next hour. 

At noon I finally got up, And was pulling long blonde hairs covered in WHAT IS THAT SLIMY SHITTY OOEY GOOEY LUMPY SMELLY BUMPY GROSSNESS? Oh gag. Oh gag. OOOOOOooooooofhhhhhh barf. Barrrrrrffff.
I pulled and pulled and pulled and more and more kept coming out and it was possibly the most disgusting thing every in the history of the entire world, or at least in my whole life. 





My ring was not there. I had small flashlight hanging from my mouth, illuminating the drain (is that a magot in there? WHAT IS THAT? WHY IS THIS IN MY DRAIN? WHAT WHY GROSS GROSS GROSS) but I didn't see anything sparkly. 

I decided I'd ask my brother (oh poor Jim, All he gets are shitty house texts from me. Literally) if he thought there'd be a chance it'd be down there. Is there such a thing as a snake camera? I know they have them to check perimeter drains... (See, I do remember something from being married to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) do they have them for interior shower drains? How much would that cost? Is it worth it? 

In the meantime, I was going to the lake. 

If it was going to rain all weekend, then I wanted to listen to it on the cabin's flat roof, with my window open after a hot bubble bath. None of these things are possible in my mom's Surrey house. 

On my way through Abbotsford, I stopped at the Telus store because my new communication device (which was my big Black Friday purchase) had arrived the day before and I didn't know how to make it work. 

So sexy yes? It's the iphone 6 and it was almost free. That's what happens when not needing the latest and greatest technology is your standard. My old one was the iPhone 4, which is a dinosaur as far as phones go. But, and here's where I knew I was in good hands, the young fella that helped me (Dallas Parker at the High Street Clearwest store) told me he'd never seen such an old phone in such mint condition. He didn't have to say that, but he did. and it was good to hear. Sort of like when Danica was doing my hair on Thursday afternoon, She kept exclaiming, "Your hair is SO healthy. I just can't believe it...So healthy..."  Not that I do anything to make it or keep it healthy, it just happens. But it is soothing to hear good things. UNLIKE MY EXPERIENCE HAVING MY FIRST FACIAL IN 22 YEARS ON MONDAY NIGHT. She kept telling me how many products I'd need to get my face looking normal again. $500 worth of product for cleaning and moisturising every month because my skin is so old. I will probably never go back, nor am I even remotely tempted to buy facial products. 

Totally unrelated to the story I started telling at the beginning of this post, but it fits here, so I'll post it, is this photo. Taken of the BACK OF MY HEAD. I posted it to Facebook after my appointment with Danica because she is a genius with a curling iron and it broke all kinds of records of 'likes on a photo' for me. HAHAHA. It was a pic of THE BACK OF MY HEAD. 

Back to my story.

I now have a new phone. WITH A DECENT CAMERA BUILT IN. 
I was itching to give it a try. 

As I entered the Cultus Lake area, I was noticed an event happening at Main Beach, so, wearing a hoodie, flat shoes and carrying my still-broken umbrella I took my new phone for a walk along the shore. 

The puddles were pretty.
And wet. 

My feet were soaked through in seconds.

(I didn't take this pic, below, but this is what it looks like from the lake.)

Photo credit: Christian Laub

I arrived to a very dark and cold cabin. The power was out. It was rainy and windy. And dark. So very dark. 

I decide to man up and be brave. With my flashlight back in my mouth, I unpacked my truck, got everything inside, looked for candles and matches and discovered my headlamp in the same drawer. (Hows that for being wise months ago when I placed it in there?) 

Then I set up my spot on the table and settled in to read for awhile. 

Of course the power came back on within minutes. 

Look how brave I was.
Marvel with me a moment, won't you?

At 11 pm, a friend from work, messaged me wondering how the Christmas Market had been. I told her it was good. We chatted for abit and I told her about my lost ring. 

This was our conversation.

I don't want a lost ring to be THE thing that takes up all my energy this month, but it feels shitty to know its gone. It was an extravagant purchase, totally unnecessary, and I'm not really a jewellery person, so I often felt guilty/unworthy even owning it.
It wasn't a symbol of love given to me by anyone special, it's not a heirloom passed down through generations - so there was no romantic or historical meaning behind it. I bought it with the insurance money because I thought I should have something sparkly and fun after the super shitty year I was having.
Considering all the crappy things that people in my life are dealing with, a dumb lost ring isn't worth mentioning or crying over.
Like I said, I have peace knowing that God's got this. And if I'm to have it back, I will. I'll do due diligence (Ask Make-It-Vancouver abut a lost n found, call Cheryl at work re: cleaning people finding it, talk to a plumber about my shower drain...) and then I'll leave it in His hands.

Good plan. But I'm still sorry. You DO deserve something sparkly and pretty.Hopefully it will turn up or that your mom can claim it on her house insurance.


It was a wet afternoon. 
I did some laundry, worked on Christmas cards, had some stew, ate some chocolate, washed my hair, praying on and off all day about the people on my list. As names pop into my mind I ask God to protect, call, save, catch, love on, heal, hold, guide, rescue, surround, take care of ... basically I was asking Him to go wild and do His thing all over those I love. 

And then this afternoon my work friend got in touch with me again. (She'd gone to the Christmas Market with her husband):
Hey, have u heard anything?

Nope. I left a message. I don't really expect it to be there.


Is this it?


God loves you




UN Believable.


and wants u to have sparkly things

I'm crying.



Us too

Seriously bawling.

Me too. Couldn't call. Texting is easier.

I can't even.
Christmas Miracle or WHAT?


I'm still in awe. Like, you have no idea. Well, maybe you do.

No I do. Believe me.

I've only told, like 3 or 4 people that it's missing. I wasn't going to tell anyone. And I'm still surprised I told you. And hahaha. You're wearing it now. Did they just hand it over to you?

We went through the whole show and decided we'd ask at the end. But I kept thinking how easy it would be not to find it. It's such a big show. So many hiding places. 
So once we were done, we walked up to the ticket booth. There was a dude with a host jacket on. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if there was a lost and found. 
He said yes, what did I lose. I said my friend lost a diamond ring. Had they received anything like that. 
He paused and said yes. 
He walked over to the counter and asked a lady for the ring. He asked me to describe it and it was exactly that. 
They gave it to me. I think we all were in a bit of disbelief. I was practically crying and said I was going to contact you right then, 
So awesome.
So easy.

Oh that God. He's so. so, so ... something.

So God.

Feeling a little overwhelmed and totally loved.
Thankful that He used you in this story. 

Me too...

And I just KNOW that if He heard a dumb prayer about a bit of sparkly bling, HE totally is ahead of me on the important stuff that I really care about. 

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. There are good people in our corner of the world. Someone could have had an exceptional Christmas if they'd kept that ring.
2. Friends who share the journey.
3. He's on it. He hears. And is at work. Don't you fuss about it. 



Unknown said...

Yahoooooo!!! Thanks Jane. I needed to hear someone else's story today.
I love the fact that you said/know…that if our Father is interested in your diamond ring, he certainly has all our people in his hands as promised. I'm holding tight to that this Christmas season! Bless you for sharing your gift of story with me. Your hair makes me guilty of coveting…. :)

September said...

This is the MOST beautiful story ever and a super encouraging reminder to me that like you said - if he took time to work on connecting you with your lost ring, just imagine how much more time he'll put into lost loved ones. THANK YOU for encouraging me.
Your hair is mad sexy. Seriously.
I also am still on my iphone 4 so an upgrade would be free. I'm putting it off because none of my speakers would work with it and, uh, I'd have to learn how to use something new and that's not my favorite thing to do.
You do deserve sparkly things Jane. Your life has been a road map for me to follow in so many ways. You encourage me with your praying heart, with your uplifting words and willingness to share your life with strangers on the internet - your life is proof that being divorced doesn't mean being disconnected...on so many levels I admire and appreciate you. You DESERVE sparklies. And now your sparkly that didn't feel as special because you bought it for yourself with insurance money, has a CRAZY story so it IS special. And for the record, I'm still sad that your jewelry was stolen. I remember how I prayed for some miracle for you to get it back.
When you blogged about the facial previously I meant to post...a friend gave me gift certificate to a spa where I had a facial. IN BETWEEN THE TREATMENT THE GIRL WAS GOING OUT TO SMOKE AND THEN TOUCHING MY FACE WITH HANDS THAT SMELLED LIKE NICOTINE EVEN THOUGH SHE HAD WASHED THEM AND I just will never forget how nasty that was. SO, it could have been worse. Never get a facial in Brooks.