Draper woman: Help from above help reunite her with lost wedding ring

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 18 2011 10:00 p.m. MST

Angela Strong, of Draper, lost her wedding ring in a Smith's parking lot. Sandy Nickell, a friend of a friend, found and returned the ring to her.

Joe DeLuca, Deseret News

DRAPER — When you lose something valuable or meaningful, you want to believe that the person who finds it will return it.

That's exactly what happened to a Draper woman, who lost her diamond wedding ring in a local supermarket parking lot. But, she also believes a little help from above made sure the ring found its way back to her.

Angela Strong felt a special bond with her best friend Jennifer Jewkes. Last year, she was with Jewkes at the moment she lost her battle with cancer. It was so traumatic, Angela nearly lost her own life.

"I suffered from broken heart syndrome when she passed away and was in the heart and lung ward because of too much adrenalin and cortisol that goes to your heart at the time of a traumatic moment," Strong said.

Just before Christmas, she said she learned just how powerful their friendship remains.

"I know that she has always been watchful over me," Strong said. "I know that she's always tried to have a little hand in my life."

On the day of a massive snowstorm, Strong drove to a Smith's in Draper to do some grocery shopping. But once in the store, she glanced down at her hand and began to panic.

"It was horrifying, horrifying," she said. "(I) ran up to the desk and I said, 'I need you to tell everybody on the intercom that I've lost my ring, I need help.' And she said we can't announce that because people will look for it, take it and leave."

For days, Strong, her friends, family and even complete strangers searched the parking lot. They dumped hot water on the snow and dug for hours, to no avail.

With no luck, her little boy said a prayer that the ring would find them. And then came a phone call about five days after she had lost the ring.

"She said, 'I'm holding your ring, I have it,' " recalled Strong.

"She" was Sandy Nickell. "I could hear her children cheering in the background on the phone," Nickell said.

While walking into Smith's, Nickell saw something glistening in the snow. She bent down and picked it up. She said, "When I looked at it, it was a gorgeous wedding ring."

It crossed her mind how much the ring was worth. The Nickells had fallen on hard times in the rough economy, but Nickell knew what she had to do.

"If it was mine, I certainly would want someone to find it for me," she said.

When Strong arrived to pick up her ring, they learned they had more in common than where they shopped — they had a mutual friend in Jennifer Jewkes.

"She knew her, I knew her, and my cute little Jen had a hand in helping to put this ring back on my hand," Strong said.

Strong says it's now about much more than a lost ring, it's about a friendship found. Strong offered Sandy a reward, but she refused.

And that ring? Strong now has another band with her grandmother's diamonds in it that holds it snuggly in place.

e-mail: jstagg@desnews.com

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