Written by Lee Stoerzinger, CFP®
It’s my Junior year at Tartan High School (Go Titans!). I have fond memories from back then, and one of the things I very much enjoyed was getting my class ring. It had my birthstone and I really liked it. Those days, it was a pretty big deal to have a class ring, especially so you could give it to girls when you were dating.
So, it’s a snowy winter afternoon and I’m at my friend’s house, just a few doors down, hanging out after school. When it was time for dinner, I ran home and prepared for time with my family. As I sat down to eat, I realized my ring was missing from my finger. I panicked and wondered where it could be. I ate as fast as I could and asked to be excused so I could start looking for it. After checking in my house, I started to scour the street and snowbanks with a flashlight, finally ending up back at my friend’s house. Of course, it had to be snowing. It was gone. Forever.
For days, I was saddened by the loss of my class ring. I had done everything I could to retrace my steps, but nothing. I spent much time thinking about it, and I think even praying about it, wondering how I could possibly find it. And then it hit me. I’m not sure how to explain it but something told me that I would find it again. I could just feel it. All I could do is believe and wait for it to return.
A few weeks later, I’m in class at school. Someone from the principal’s office interrupts us and asks if I can come into the hallway. This was the first time I had ever been removed from class for any reason, so I was quite nervous and confused. They walked me all the way to the principal’s office in silence. I remember thinking, what the heck? What did I do? As I entered the office, I was taken into a small room. The office person said that someone in St. Paul on White Bear Avenue had found a ring from Tartan Class of 1988 with “Lee” on the side. They wondered if I had lost my ring. I said yes. They handed me a piece of paper with a name and phone number on it so I could reach out to them.
After contacting the family who had my ring, we agreed the best plan was for me to go over to their house the following afternoon to pick it up. I gathered up some money for a reward and headed over. When I got to the house and knocked, a girl with a familiar face opened the door. It was my old friend, Tonya, from back in grade school. I couldn’t believe it. What I also couldn’t believe was that she said she found my ring in her driveway – almost five miles away from where I lost it. Yep. So, we caught up for a few minutes (I remember it being kind of awkward), I gave her the reward money and I was on my way.
Looking back on this story, I spent much time trying to figure out how my class ring got from my finger to St. Paul. My best guess is that it fell off, somehow got picked up by a snow plow and was dropped exactly at my friend’s house. But whatever the way, I find a different message in the story these days. I realize now that it was just the first of many times I have used the power of belief to guide my journey. And as the trail of my life is now paved with many stories just like this, I am deeply thankful to be aware of my gifts, and the gratefulness in using them. It has taken a long time.