When she lost her diamond wedding ring four years ago, Necia Rasmussen held out hope for several months before finally buying a replacement. But she never stopped missing the one that got away.
Earlier this week, she nearly fell over from joy when she was reunited with the platinum Princess cut diamond ring that washed up on an Idaho lake shore and was found by a kayaker four years after it went missing.
Rasmussen, 34, said she started crying when she claimed the ring after describing it in great detail and providing a photograph.
"I mean, what are the chances?" Rasmussen told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Rasmussen was at Rigby Lake near Idaho Falls four years ago when she took the ring off so she could rub sunscreen on her children. She placed the ring inside a chair's cup holder for safe keeping and thinks that it fell out later when she was folding up the chair.
The loss was particularly upsetting because Rasmussen had recently learned that her husband, Heber, an Army reservist, was going to be deployed to Iraq. He had picked out the ring and it was platinum, just like his mother's wedding ring.
His mother also lost her wedding ring and it was found about three decades later, Rasmussen said.
"Thirty years later, his dad found it in the garden," she said.
In her case, she found herself reluctant to replace the ring that went missing at Rigby Lake, even with her husband's encouragement.
"I was having a hard time getting a new one," she said. "I just wanted my old one back."
The ring remained missing until Monday, when Emily Geisler spotted it while kayaking.
The story was first reported in the Rexburg Standard Journal. Geisler told the newspaper she hadn't been kayaking in a while and was practicing getting in and out of the watercraft on the shore when the ring caught her eye.
Geisler announced her finding at a meeting of the Rigby Rotary Club late Tuesday, after the group had finished its business. The announcement caught the attention of Rasmussen's brother-in-law, Glenn Walker, a fellow Rotary Club member.
"He happened to remember me and my sister talking about my ring missing a year ago," Rasmussen said.
Walker contacted his wife, who then contacted Rasmussen. He then approached Geisler, who remained skeptical until Walker started to describe the ring in specific detail, with Rasmussen on the other end of the phone telling him what her ring looked like.
Rasmussen then joined Walker at the restaurant where the Rotary Club was meeting. She provided a photograph of her ring, which was identical to the one in Geisler's possession. The ring was in good condition and just needed a cleaning. It fit Rasmussen perfectly.
"I totally believe in miracles," she said. "I had prayed about it, but I thought maybe somebody found it who needed it more than me."