An American woman has been reunited with a priceless ring gifted by her late husband 47 years after its disappearance – on a different continent.
Maine resident Debra McKenna lost the Morse high school class ring in 1973 after taking it off to wash her hands in a department store, and thought all hope of ever retrieving it was lost.
Her husband, Shawn, plucked up the nerve to ask her out on a date on Valentine’s Day and handed her his prized ring one week before the high school sweethearts started dating.
However, three years after he died following a battle with cancer, and the ring only a distant memory, a part-time metal detectorist uncovered the impossible.
He had stumbled upon the ring buried 20 centimetres under forest scrubland at Kaarina, a small town in south-west Finland, more than 6000 kilometres from where it first vanished.
The man, sheet-metal worker Marko Saarinen, contacted the Morse high school’s alumni with the astonishing news, which was then relayed to her classmates.
“I told them the story, and I said, ‘This is unbelievable. Are you sure there’s no one else in his class with his initials?’” McKenna told CNN.
The answer? No.
“It’s very touching in this world of negativity, to have decent people step forward and make an effort,” McKenna said.
“There are good people in the world, and we need more of them.”
Reunited with the precious gift, there’s just one lingering question left: How did it survive a trans-Atlantic journey and nestle itself within a Finnish forest?
“I wish it could talk. I would love to hear the story of how it got from here to there, and if anyone ever knows what it is, I would love to hear what it is, not judgment, just interest,” McKenna said.