SAN ANTONIO — Some years ago in Lytle TX at a thrift store, 95-year-old Violet Doyal forever changed the course of two lives.
"They had the rings at the counter, and I just bought it for two dollars," said Violet. You’d be hard pressed to find any picture of Violet Doyle these last 95 years without some piece of jewelry, but the piece she purchased, little did she know, would be an opportunity to return some joy.
"About 2006 I’m serving in Japan, and I hear the tragic news that my mom passed away," said Edmon James. 'We didn’t know that she had many storage areas around town, and some of my items were in storage, and we ended up not finding some of this, and we lost some things."
And among those items missing was something near and dear to Edmon’s heart. It was something tangible, yes, but almost impossible to replace: his 1995 Judson Rockets Football state championship ring.
"Well I knew at the time that there was a boy who probably didn’t know where his ring was," said Violet.
So in her country home, and in her jewelry box, the ring waited, until her son came by one day to help her move some things.
"Just got with busy with everything else, and forgot about it, until I came across it again," said Violet's son, Darrel Gan. "I knew I should take it home to my wife because she would find out who it belonged to."
And Darrel was more right than he knew. So with the help of Facebook his wife Sherra put out a social message looking for help, and help did she ever get. After countless shares and responses, the Gan's tracked down Edmon within a day. The years long mystery was solved within hours.
"Never expected that within 24 hours you would find him by posting that post, so were just really excited," said Sherra. "Mom was just ecstatic!"
And so was Edmon as you might imagine.
"Lots of friends were texting me, and messaging me, and saying there was a lady looking for me, and I’m thinking, 'oh yeah, somebody is trying to sell me something, this can’t be true,'" he said. "So I go on Facebook and look at the messages and I actually see a picture of my ring there and I’m thinking, 'wow, that’s my ring. So then I send a message to the lady on the Facebook page, and said hey, I think I’m the guy you are looking for."
'All the stuff that he was missing that ended up missing, he just told me if there was one thing he wanted back, he wanted that state ring back.'
- 1995 Starting Quarterback Guy Anderson
And recently the finally chapter of this story was written. It was a reunion, but it was also a first union that was simply hard to top! Edmon was smiling ear to ear as he might Violet, Sherra and Darrel at Rutledge Stadium in Converse to be reunited with his 1995 Judson Rockets state championship ring.
"Thank You! Wow! Thank You!" said an emotional Edmon. 'You can actually see an angel in the flesh that is what I thought I was looking at. For her to reach out and say I want to get this back to who it belongs to, that is just really special."
Violet was just as emotional in giving Edmon his 'Rocket Pride' ring back.
"I’m so happy today. I don’t know when I’ve been so happy," she said.
"This is a young man. Let’s find him and get his ring back to him," added Sherra.
"There was a struggle to get this ring, and means a whole lot more than just the championship. All the bonds with everyone'. Edmon said.
And it's not hard to see the message in the story. Edmon himself put perfectly.
"With everything going on in the world right now, for something like this to take place is very special. Dreams do come true. This is gonna be one those special days that I’ll remember forever. Hopefully I can pass this along to someone else," he said.
A remarkable moment of grace that we can all embrace.