I try not to give importance to inanimate objects. I know that they are just a collection of molecules without a soul or consciousness and that they will blow up into an atomic dust like the rest of us when the inevitable nuclear doomsday finally arrives.
Still, it's hard not to hoard stuff that more often than not carry a significant sentimental value rather than monetary value. Unless you are super rich and you enjoy hoarding sport cars in your very own private multi-level car park.
I kept a really nicely shaped coral from our first trip to Barbados, the plastic clip that held's Blake's belly cord, some of Blake's daily nursery reports and so on. Obviously if there was a fire I won't linger around gathering any of it. I'll make sure Blake, Miron, and the dogs are safe and only go back for my iPhone if the house hasn't collapsed yet. Only then I'll check to see how the horrible old woman next door is doing.
I said check, not help out.
In June 2007 we went on a lovely 19 days trip to China. During one of our stops we received an e-mail from our future surrogate. We were told that we might have to wait up to eight months to find a carrier so we didn't expect that e-mail since it's been only a little over a week since we started looking. We were very excited, as our plan to have a baby was solidifying and becoming a reality. During our stay in Tibet we found ourselves in a big shop full of all sorts of exciting and exotic thing-a-bobs. I really liked one of the silver rings and Miron got it for me. It cost about $30. According to the seller it said "Ideal World" in Tibetan, but for all I know it might've said "I like boobies".
I immediately liked it. It was going to remind me of this wonderful trip that was wonderful entirely on its own, but also because during that trip our journey to parenthood has really kicked off. It was the nearest thing I'd ever get to an engagement ring and indeed months later after we got pregnant we decided that if we're in Canada we should just as well get properly married. None of that civil partnership nonsense in the UK. When I told our cute receptionist at work that I was going to get married suddenly out of nowhere I was surrounded by several young women I didn't know showing interest in my "rock". I explained that it was just a cheap silver ring and not really an actual engagement ring, but I found the whole thing amusing nonetheless.
That ring was on my left ring finger until I got married and minutes before the ceremony it was moved to my right ring finger where it stayed on and off for years to come. The ring itself broke a few times and had to be welded twice. I could still wear it when it was broken, but it would pinch a little or get stuck in things. I'd sometimes remove it and misplace it, but always found it again.
Here's the silly part. I started regarding it as my lucky charm. I know it's stupid, but it was one of those "can't hurt" things. Life is full of ups and downs and during some downs I needed a sprinkling of good luck here and there. A couple of months ago I went out with the dogs and when I came back I suddenly realized that my ring was hollow. The bit in the middle fell off and I didn't even know it could fall off. I hoped it fell at home, but I was fairly certain it fell when I had to restrain the dogs. They were both pulling me in different directions in a subtle attempt to kill me and escape captivity. I pulled, tagged and slapped them a bit and that must have been when it popped off. I went back right away in the middle of the night, but no luck. Not only I couldn't see anything, I wasn't even sure where exactly I was tussling with the dogs. I came back during the day, but no luck. With it being fall season, everything was covered in either tall grass or layers of leaves. I might have walked over it countless times since, but for all practical purposes it was gone for good.
I tried googling Tibetan rings and "Ideal World" with no result. I couldn't find any ring like this or even similar looking. I remember seeing three of them at the shop when we got it and wondering if I should get more than one. I should've!
I still keep it, but I'm not wearing it anymore, because, well it's kinda ugly and creepy right now. I guess I can stick a chewed bubble gum into that hole, but it won't quite look right either.
So here comes the philosophical part. Was it really a lucky charm? If so how come my ring broke in the first place? That's unlucky, isn't it? Unless, that ring has provided me with tons of luck and then just expired when I used up all the luck in it. Since I got the ring I got married and my beautiful healthy son was born. We have problems like everyone else, but taking a step back and looking at my life I am very very lucky and should always remember to count my blessings, even when something bad happens.
Like losing my favourite ring.