Editor's Notebook

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Searched for ring, and found kindness

Sometimes you find more than you're looking for. Some years back, my wedding band turned up a day after it had been missing. When I finally recovered it, I discovered I'd found something just as valuable. A lot of people have a kind streak that shows up when you least expect it. I am not unique in this realization. In Heart of the Home, many CAPPER'S readers write about losing valuable or sentimental treasures and how touched they were by the kindness of strangers who helped in their search.

I lost my ring after I had it adjusted to fit my swollen finger (the result of a backyard mishap). For months, the loosened ring kept sliding about. One afternoon, I realized I wasn't wearing it, but I couldn't remember if I had taken it off. If I had, where did I leave it? On the dresser, on the drainboard, in the cup holder in the car?

Rationally, I knew the ring was only a symbol of my love and commitment. What mattered was how I lived up to those values. But it was my wedding band; this was an emotional loss as much as a material one.

I retraced my steps for the entire afternoon, which included stops at the dry cleaners, the grocery store and the post office. Calls to the stores initiated a flurry of concern. I received numerous calls from the merchants saying they hadn't found anything, but they were still looking.

I remembered dropping some mail into a drive-through post box. The ring could easily have slipped off then. Thinking I'd have to plead with the postal workers to even care, I was surprised when one of them went right to the box and sifted through it. My ring wasn't there.

I've never forgotten his helpfulness or that of the others. In the end, my ring turned up in a lawn bag filled with acorns. Apparently, the rolling action of the acorn shells as I gathered and dumped them into the bag eased the ring off my finger. The experience was harrowing, but the lining was silver indeed: I found I shared the world with some truly kind and thoughtful individuals. I hope you do, too, and I hope you enjoy reading the other lost-and-found stories in this issue.

Dennis McLaughlin
Managing editor