The weirdest thing happened the other day.  There’s no photo that, in good taste, could represent this story so I’m going to go photo-less on a post for the first time on this blog.  We’ll see how it goes…

Here’s what happened:  Seven years ago, right after I gave birth to my son, my husband gave me a pair of beautiful diamond earrings.  I was utterly surprised and, despite the fact that I rarely wear any jewelry (including my own wedding and engagement rings), delighted.  Earrings are my kind of jewelry — you put ’em in and you don’t feel them or have to fuss with them.  Yet they look good.  These looked really good. 

About a year later, we were having a tough time.  If you started reading this blog after seeing my essay in Interweave Knits magazine, you’ll know that our newborn daughter was facing serious health challenges.  During this time, in an attempt at normalcy and to make me feel a little less like Shirley McLaine at the end of “Terms of Endearment,” I got my hair highlighted.   I got home that afternoon and realized one of my earrings was gone.

Needless to say, I was crushed.  The earrings had been a special, special gift.  I was convinced it had fallen off on the street, got run over and was now trapped in some unknowing person’s car tire.  My husband was sure it had gone down the hair dresser’s drain.  Of course, we called the hair place, and my sister, who lived nearby it, combed the streets for me.  No luck. 

But the significance went beyond the fact that I’d lost a special gift.  A dear friend had once said to me, “You know, the older I get, the more I realize that life is largely just…momentum.”  I can’t tell you how that statement resonated with me.  My husband and I came up with a corollary to that notion — what we called “breaking the cycle” — when we were dealing with a very (very!) colicky baby.  So the fact that I’d lost that tremendously important earring during a time when we were already dealing with horrible problems — our child’s health — just felt like our momentum was continuing towards Crapsville.  For years, every time I went to the salon, I felt yucky — I told Becky, my hair dresser, it felt like the scene of a perpertrator-less crime.

My daughter got better.  I wore different earrings.  Our momentum finally shifted.  We’d broken the cycle.  Last year, when I turned…ahem…40, my husband cleverly went into my jewelry box, found the lone diamond earring, sent it to the jeweler who’d made the original pair, and had a replacement made (and both earrings received new, screw-tight backings).  It was a terrific gift, mostly because of his scrappiness in doing this without me knowing, but also because after six years, I was thrilled to resume wearing some nice jewelry, now even more fitting for a woman of my… advancing…age.

Well, a few days ago, Becky called.  I’d seen her earlier in the week for my periodic highlight.  I’ve been going to Becky since I was 18.  

“How’s your hair?” she asked.

“Great,” I said.  She’d gotten the highlights just right for summer.

“Good,” she practically interrupted.  “That’s not why I’m calling.  Carol [Becky’s colleague] just told me that years ago she found a diamond earring in the salon.  I’ve got it right here in my hand.  I told her it had to be yours.  Platinum setting?”

As you can imagine, I practically dropped the phone.  That earring had been missing for six years.  My parents, who live near Becky’s salon, picked up the diamond that afternoon. 

After the excitement had worn off that the earring had not wound up in someone’s car tire or down a drain, and after musing about what to do with it since just last year a replacement had been made, I am left wondering what this means.  Long-lost precious heirlooms returned after years missing has to mean something, right?