But I'll let Sonia pick up the story:
It's been a great surprise and pleasure for me to have found you and your shop, on line. I have spent time reading the love stories you've shared as well as perusing the photos of your beautiful pieces of amazing art. Also, at the risk of sounding like a veritable weirdo, I've read many of your blog postings.
I have had the privilege of owning a beautiful ring of Ivaan's since the winter of 1989. I was a young 18 year old girl from Wawa, ON, staying in Toronto with my aunt's friend, Stepha. She had been so kind in taking me to the Japanese consulate so that I could then travel to Tokyo where I would be staying with my aunt, Laura. Stepha was such a wonderful, stylish young woman who whisked me around to her favourite restaurants and also "gave" me the gorgeous ring!
As we rode the subway, she just took it off her finger and presented it to me, saying her friend Ivaan had given it to her claiming it wasn't anything of great value because he would run his pieces in silver, as trials before making the final piece de resistance...I was grateful and a little embarrassed by her extravagant generosity.
This ring has been such an auspicious token for years garnering many, many compliments and much interest. Once, even, when I was about 22 I nearly lost it, but a gallant young waiter returned it to me, on the street. I was playing that hand slapping game with my now husband, and because it hurt to be wearing it, while he slapped my hand, I had put it in the clean ashtray on the table of the restaurant...Fortunately for me, it came back!
After reading about your trip to Sault Ste. Marie, I knew I had to contact you! First of all, you posted that lovely story on my birthday and I lived in the Soo from 1992 to 2008. Both of my children are born there so it really does hold a special place in my heart as well. The other interesting coincidence about all of this; your nephews Angus and Ivor attended the school where I taught.
Naturally, when I read about your visit to Sault Ste. Marie I was filled with nostalgia and awe. Your nephews must still remember that wonderful week of unadulterated fun with joyful hearts, as I am sure you do, too!
Well, I hope this brings you a smile and a bit of a laugh, too. I am forwarding a few photos of the ring.
Thank you for your continued inspired work and legacy toward your dear, loving Ivaan. Yours was a love affair of a life time and I know you must miss him, always.
En espérant, un beau jour, de te rencontrer dans ton atelier!
I couldn't help smiling when I read her letter and saw the photos, because no doubt Sonia was teaching in my nephews' school while Ivaan and I were staying with them in Sault Ste. Marie. Because we picked them up for violin lessons and returned them to school afterwards, (wiping Boston creme donut residue off their chins), Sonia and Ivaan likely unwittingly came close to meeting each other in the hallways of the school. And when I shared her letter and photographs with my nephews, who are now adults, they could hardly believe it (they say she hasn't changed a bit).
Here's Sonia, and here's her ring. I'm so glad she tracked me down. And hey, I'm always thrilled to know that someone reads my blog.