Many years ago, when things were going a lot better for me, I bought a diamond ring which was from an estate sale. I paid $400 and had an independent appraisal of $1,200. I treasured that ring and only took it off when I was working doing messy renovations. After I had virtually everything stolen from me in Panama I was glad I was wearing my ring and it didn’t get stolen.

After I returned from Panama with virtually nothing the ring was always a reminder of better times and I hoped someday to be out of the mess I was in. Things only got worse for me after I moved to London and the low point was sleeping on an office floor and then ending up in The Mission, the worst place ever to stay in. I had no money and was truly desperate. I had sold off whatever possessions I had, like my pool cue, but I needed money desperately. I was downtown at the welfare office, who had just refused to give me a bus ticket to get back to the shelter, and I saw the sign for the jeweler who bought gold. He offered me a paltry $80 even though I had the appraisal. It was basically “take it or leave it” and I had no choice, so I gave up my ring. It was a symbol of how low I was.

As I picked myself up; got a job and a place to live and gradually got ahead of myself and could buy more than food, I thought of my ring and wondered if it was still there, two years later. I went to the jeweler and was delighted to see my ring, all shined up. He was asking $300 for the ring he paid $80 for. After some negotiation, he agreed to sell me my own ring for $240. I have been putting money down on it as I could squeeze out a few bucks. Last Friday I managed to pay the remaining balance and get my ring back. I appreciate it more than I ever did and I feel it is a symbol that I am going to have a better life, despite all the things that are not good right now. I look down at the ring and pray someday to be back in my beloved Okanagan with the friends I treasured, maybe sitting on the lake in my boat again. I would have to get my health back and lose the weight I’ve gained, which seem like lofty goals, but somehow having my ring back makes me believe it’s possible.

Update to the story. A girl I was trying to help came to my apartment. While she was supposedly cleaning she stole the ring.