For one New Jersey woman, her 20th-anniversary ring was one of her most cherished possessions.
A gift from her loving husband, the woman rarely took it off, wanting to keep the precious jewelry by her side so she could feel her husband’s love 24/7. However, fate had other plans.
Unfortunately, during a routine day of cleaning the house, the unthinkable happened.
She lost her ring…and for ten years she believed it was lost forever. Then one day, there was a shocking discovery. You won’t believe this story of a happy marriage, a lost ring, and a discovery a decade in the making….
Living in Somers Point, New Jersey, Paula Stanton had what you would consider the ideal life.
She had a beautiful home, raised wonderful children and had a great group of friends to enjoy lunches and events with. However, there was one person in her life that was a step above the rest.
Paula’s husband, Michael, was the one person she could trust the most. He showered her with love, gifts and she never had to want for anything.
Overall, their decades’ long marriage had been complete bliss. So, when her husband surprised her with a gift for their 20th anniversary, Paula was over the moon.
So, what did her husband surprise her with. A stunning gold ring with diamonds encrusted around the base.
It was absolutely gorgeous (and very expensive) so Paula chose to never take it off. She would never forgive herself if she lost it since he had worked so hard to give it to her.
It would be a winter day in 2008 when Paula decided to get her holiday cleaning done.
It was a ritual of hers every December and she wanted to make sure that the house was spotless before friends arrived the following day for holiday festivities. Unfortunately for Paula, the day was going to take a very disastrous turn.
While Paula was cleaning the bathroom, she decided to scrub down the toilet (her least favorite task).
As she flushed the basin, she suddenly realized her finger felt lighter. The thought of her ring missing made her blood turn to ice and with dread, Paula glanced down at her finger.
The ring was gone.
The expensive and beautiful ring her husband had worked so hard to get her had somehow slipped off her finger during the scrubbing. However, the mystery of where it went to now lingered.
Paula frantically searched the bathroom, checking behind the toilet, in the toilet, and in the bathtub.
She checked her cleaning supplies and her pockets, hoping against hope that the ring might be around. Sadly, it was gone.
As Paula crouched by the toilet, tears welling in her eyes, she realized that the ring most likely had been flushed down the toilet when she cleaned it.
If true, there was absolutely no way it could be recovered. How could she possibly break the news to her husband?
“I was cleaning and knew I must have flushed it down. It had been a little big on my finger because it was winter time and my hands were smaller.
I felt so bad about it. Sad and embarrassed,” Paula told the local news.
The guilt weighed heavily on Paula. She kept thinking of how happy her husband had been when he presented the ring to her.
She didn’t know its exact price, but new it cost several thousand dollars. How could she have been so careless?
Distress soon turned to denial.
Maybe the ring hadn’t been flushed down the toilet. There was only one way to find out….
Paula frantically began to tear the house apart, praying the ring had fallen off somewhere else.
She searched the living room, underneath the couch, the bedroom. The ring just had to be somewhere in the house!
Unfortunately, Paula’s search did not yield the ring. There was only one thing left to try…disassemble the toilet.
Paula got a wrench and began the painstaking task of pulling apart the pipes and removing the bowel from the base. Using a flashlight, she searched thoroughly, but sadly, the ring was gone.
Paula had no idea how her husband would take the news. And quite frankly, she didn’t really want to tell him.
For the rest of the day, she felt sick with grief. This was going to be one of the most difficult conversations she had ever had.
That night, Paula approached her husband while he was reading in the bedroom. Fighting back tears, she explained to him what happened.
Michael listened quietly, saying nothing as Paula avoided looking him in the eyes. It was one of the worst moments of her life.
After Paula finished her confession, Michael remained silent.
At first, she thought he was so angry he couldn’t even speak. However, he suddenly let out a chuckle, breaking the heavy tension in the air. What could possibly be funny?
Michael continued to laugh for a moment, which confused Paula. He then berated her playfully for her clumsiness and told her he would buy a new ring to replace the lost one.
To say Paula was stunned would be an understatement. It seemed Michael was amused rather than angry. What a relief!
The next day, Michael presented Paula with a replacement ring. While it was beautiful, it wasn’t exactly the same.
Every time Paula looked at the new ring she couldn’t help but feel guilty. It seemed like she had lost a small piece of herself.
You would think that after ten years, Paula would have moved on from the loss of her special anniversary ring, but sadly, it still bothered her.
It seemed her attachment to the ring was must stronger than she could have ever anticipated, and one day she suddenly became determined to find it again.
Paula decided to reach out to a family friend named Ted who was the chief of the city’s public works crew.
She explained to him the situation and asked him if he could possibly keep an eye out for it during his work day. Of course, she knew the request was ridiculous after such a long time but knew it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Ted was slightly shocked by the request and knew the likelihood of finding it was slim.
“She had this look on her face while she was telling me about it that said, ‘I can’t believe I did this.’” he told the Press of Atlantic City. ” I told her really nicely that the chances of us finding it were pretty much zero, but we’d keep an eye out for it.”.
It would be shortly after Thanksgiving of 2018 when Ted and his crew would be working on a sewer tunnel roughly 400 feet from Paula’s house.
As his crew went about their day, Ted noticed something shiny underneath the waste and sewage. Could it possibly be what Paula had lost?
After wiping away the debris, Ted was shocked to find a gold ring with diamonds.
While he couldn’t confirm it was his friend’s lost ring, he knew the possibility was high. He couldn’t wait until his shift was over to show it to her.
That evening after his shift, Tim excitedly made his way to Paula’s house.
He couldn’t wait to show her what he had found. He knocked on the door softly and patiently waited for her to answer.
Paula answered the door and was surprised to find Ted standing there.
At first, she thought he might be there to warn her of impending construction near her home. However, she noticed he was holding something in his hand…and it looked quite familiar.
Without saying a word, Ted held out the ring to Paula. She immediately took notice of the gold band and familiar diamonds.
And on the side, her initials engraved in the soft gold. She couldn’t believe her eyes. The ring she had lost over ten years ago had finally been returned.
“Everyone was in a state of shock. I was hugging him and crying,” Paula told the local news.
“I was calling my kids and telling people about it. My family had a difficult year, and for this to happen was nothing short of a miracle.”.
According to Ted, the ring was fated to remain Paula’s. “That ring didn’t want to leave her family. There are so many things that could have happened.
It could have been washed away, it could have been crushed, but it was just meant to be.” What a wonderful Christmas gift for Paula and her husband. A reunion over ten years in the making. Now, next time she cleans, we hope she takes it off.