Many years ago, when I was dating my husband, I heard, over and over, whispered and shouted by my family: "You are so lucky!"
This was true, I would agree. Having just ended a brief, unhappy marriage, it was certainly a stroke of luck — and good timing — that my now-husband came into my life so quickly. He was quite a catch, for so many reasons, but even so, it was just a tiny bit disturbing to hear my own parents telling me, in no uncertain terms, that I was the lucky one.
Most of the time, I'm not an especially lucky person. I don't win raffles or big prizes when I enter contests, and my track record in Las Vegas is, unfortunately, quite disappointing. There was the one time I won $1,800 on a Wheel of Fortune machine, but, well, that was one time. I've been there dozens of other times, without much luck at all.
I always figured I was lucky in the ways that matter — a good marriage, wonderful kids, terrific family, great friends — the things that make my life good. If I didn't win the lottery or a silly raffle, so what?
And then I lost my diamond necklace.
This wasn't just any diamond necklace. This necklace was a gift from my husband on my 40th birthday. I wore that necklace almost every day for 13 years. It wasn't an especially big or grand diamond, but it meant the world to me, and losing it made me ugly-crying sad. I looked everywhere I had been the day it disappeared, retracing my steps back to the dry cleaner, the gas station, CVS, Staples, the bank … no luck. I left my name and number everywhere. The woman at the dry cleaners, where I've gone for 24 years, was practically in tears when I told her what happened. It was a bad, bad day.
My husband was so nice about it. He reassured me that he was just glad I wasn't hurt, that I hadn't been robbed or assaulted. He searched our front yard in the dark, hoping to catch a glint of the diamond with a flashlight. He told me that he would buy me a new necklace if we couldn't find it, which just made me cry even more.
But I didn't want a new necklace. I wanted that necklace, the one he gave me 13 years ago.
Almost a week later, we went back to Staples to pick up a few things. We parked in the same spot where I had parked the day I lost my necklace. We both looked at the ground, hoping against hope that, somehow, my necklace would still be lying there, waiting for me to find it.
We went into the store and my husband decided to ask the manager if, maybe, they had my necklace.
"I left my number," I said. "They would have called me."
The manager's eyes lit up. "Oh yeah! We have your necklace! Someone found it in the parking lot and turned it in!"
They had my necklace. They had it. He ran in the office and brought it to me, perfectly intact, not broken or scratched or damaged in any way.
Everyone in the store was smiling at us — some people even applauded. My husband and I were laughing, and I gave the manager a big hug. We couldn't believe it. We simply could not believe that someone had been that nice, that they had brought it in to that store and not one of the other ones in the shopping center, that they were honest and kind and did the thing that we all would like to believe we would do if we found a diamond necklace in a parking lot.
When I told people what happened in the days after, they all said the same thing: "You are so lucky!"
No one knows it as well as I do. I am very, very lucky. Not only because they had my necklace, but because a long time ago I met my husband. That was lucky.