My daughter, Camille, in a bike lock commercial.
“We will never find it, Baby; it’s gone.” After looking through the pile of gravel for hours on a spring afternoon in Whistler, Alabama in 1968, I figured my Paw Paw was right. It was gone. My special birthstone ring with the green gem and gold band was lost in a pile of roofing gravel. The ring that signified that I was born in August. My first big girl ring. The ring I graduated to after my baby ring. The ring that represented the characteristics of someone who does not give up.
My cousins and I were playing outside at my Grandnana and Paw Paw’s home. I have no memory of how the ring came not to be on my hand. All of my memories are the searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I remember sifting for the entire afternoon trying to find my ring.
My Paw Paw owned a roofing company and my cousins, and I were playing on the pile of gravel. I know it must have been spring because the gravel was not hot. The gravel was a mixture of hues. Browns. Tans. Yellows. My gold ring was lost in the chaotic mix of fun.
I remember being sad. I wasn’t afraid of getting into trouble for losing it. I remember the determination I had to find my ring. The ring that represented my August birthday. The stone that had the most beautiful and confusing name. Peridot. I remember knowing I was not going to give up until I found it.
Leos are known for being strong-willed and confident. I can only concur that this is why I kept looking. I was not going to give up. I knew my ring was in that pile. I just had to be patient, determined, and I would eventually find it. My Paw Paw promised me he would not let anyone disturb the pile. I think he knew his first-born granddaughter would find her ring. Every day I would go outside and sift through the gravel pile. I would make up games as I searched for my ring. My cousins would join me as we set out to conquer this kingdom of rocks hiding my treasure.
I don’t remember how many days it took. But, I still have the memory of my cousins and one of my Paw Paw’s employees standing around the pile with me holding up my ring. We did it! We didn’t give up. We found my simple, beautiful birthstone ring. My five year and eight month old self understood life better than my adult self. Be patient. Don’t give up. It’s there. You will eventually find it.