and in the darkness, find them.

This weekend, my heart almost stopped. Not literally, but close. We had just driven down to the location of William’s Saturday baseball game and were getting out of the car. I open the trunk and sling William’s baseball gear bag up onto my shoulder, and it roughly brushes my hand. I hear an odd “ping … ping ping … ping ping ping” and look down. Weird, some golden shiny thing is pinging down the pavement in front of me towards the curb.

I wonder what it is?

Wait a second, that looks familiar. “My ring!” I shout. Wait that’s not a curb, it’s a gutter opening. “OH NO! NO!”

“Ping … ping” into the opening. “Ping … ping … ping” becoming fainter and stopping.

My wedding ring rolled into the sewer drainage entrance. Internally I’m sinking. Amy has turned towards me, and I’m sticking my head down by the drainage entrance. The sun is illuminating the area a little, and I can see that I can’t see my ring.

But I can see that there is a cement boxlike area, with a few cement drainage tubes leading off of it. Oh, man. This is getting worse.

I say a quick silent prayer, “Lord help me.” And then, I notice another detail I initially had ignored. There are two little sets of iron rungs on the sides of the underground cement box. I lift my head up to look at the sidewalk. Two manhole covers.

“Please don’t be bolted down,” I whisper.

The covers are large, and I am full of adrenaline. No bolts. The cover has a small notch, into which I stick one finger, all that will fit, and start to lift.

“Be careful,” Amy says.

The cover must weigh over fifty pounds, but I pull it up pretty quickly and before I scamper down the hole, I notice the kids giving me strange looks. I don’t think they’ve caught on yet.

Down in the cement box, I search and don’t see my ring. I sigh, and head to what I think must be the most logical tube. I get about two-thirds of my body into the tunnel, and there on floor is my ring.

I can’t describe how I felt at that moment — relief and joy amongst the multitude of feelings.

As I climbed back out of the hole, I crossed myself and thanked God that it was possible to recover my ring.

After I put the manhole cover back, my hands smelled of the acrid aroma of oxidized metal and we went on to the game, where we met William and Carolyn’s godparents and proceeded to have a nice hot time in the sun watching six-year-old baseball.

But my heart is beating strongly. And God is merciful.