I need your help.
Yes, you already knew that. It’s clear I need all kinds of help. But this is an emergency, so I’ll get right to the point.
My wedding band, which has been on my finger for more than three decades, is missing. I noticed this at work Monday as I looked down while typing. It took a bit to register. Wait, what? No gold wedding band?
Gone. A surprise, because it’s been there since 1984. Or did we get married in 1985? Ha. Just kidding. It has never, ever slid off.
Pretty much, I’ve had to pull it over the knuckle on a few rare occasions when I did remove it for perfectly valid reasons to protect it, like painting our house or trying to remove a fuel pump from the gas tank of our old van back home.
This time, I have no recollection of removing it.And I don’t recall absent-mindedly fiddling around, without thinking (which is frequent), and just kind of drop it.
So, it is officially lost.
My wife was none to happy to hear about this since she bought it for me and slipped it on my finger on our wedding day. It’s been there on our many moves and new jobs and new kids. Through the laughs and the tears, through the hugs and the glares, through the births and deaths, that ring was there.
Now, it’s gone.
But I haven’t given up hope of finding it because I think I know where it might have slipped away.
I was wearing it Thursday, it’s there in a picture of me and my brother. My wife said she’s sure the ring was attached to my finger when we were in church Sunday.
I sat and pondered. Where could I have lost it? Retrace my steps, if you will. They led to, unfortunately, Anini Beach and snorkeling Sunday afternoon.
I was there, swimming around, watching three turtles (yes, three at once) at the cleaning station. Perhaps the coolest thing I’ve seen. I snorkeled farther out, above the coral, watched another turtle from a distance, before turning back. On the return to shore, on one stroke, I went too deep and my left hand struck something. I stopped and looked to check for bleeding. None. (Yes, I was worried about blood in the water attracting a shark, even at Anini Beach). I survived, paddled furiously, and reached land. But I have a feeling the ring did not; that it slipped off. I think it’s still out there.
So I’ll be returning to search, as hopeless as that sounds, and if anyone else happens to be heading to Anini Beach to snorkel, I ask that you keep an eye out for a gold wedding band. If I’m right, it’s in front of the park, well to the right of the boat ramp, about a hundred yards or so out there, past the turtle cleaning station and toward the buoy. Great directions, right?
But it would delight my wife is it was found, and I like to keep my wife happy.
Ironically, when I was in high school, I found a wedding band when I was carrying out my janitorial duties to earn money and pay my tuition. I knew the teacher whose classroom I found it in and sure enough, the next day, I returned it to him. He was relieved and thanked me. Said I probably saved him from disappointing his wife.
So, if you wouldn’t mind, go snorkeling at Anini Beach. If you happen to found a gold wedding band out there, call me. A reward? Sure. It isn’t worth much money, but when it comes to love, it’s priceless.
Bill Buley is editor-in-chief of The Garden Island. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org