ASHLAND (AP) — When bad things happen, you just deal with it.
When you have the chance to make something good happen, you pounce on it.
That is Carla Ball’s attitude.
The Catlettsburg woman has survived a house fire in which she lost a dog and a cat, as well as the artwork she created. She is a 23-year cancer survivor who is mostly confined to her home with a potentially deadly spinal nerve condition.
As a sideline, she buys, makes and sells jewelry online. She orders baubles to work with and recently discovered a unique piece.
“I had a box of jewelry come in. It was a box lot and you never know what you will get,”?she explained. “It had a class ring from 1979. The name Cathy Willis was inscribed inside. The ring has no value, as it is not gold or other precious metal. So I went to the school website and her class and found out she died in 2012.”
That didn’t stop Ball.
“There was a obit and she had a daughter (Julie Watters) who lived in Silver Springs, Va., so I googled and found her. She is a obstetrician. I called her office and they took a message and she called me. She was very grateful to have the ring. She had no idea how the ring ended up in a Goodwill store in Texas, but was glad it ended up in my hands.”
When she prepared the package for mailing to Watters, Ball said she had a strange experience.
“I wrote a note to her when?I packaged it.?I can’t explain, but I felt like her mother was speaking to me,”?Ball said. “I told her, ‘I think this is your mother’s way of letting you know she’s OK and she’s watching over,”?Ball said. “And then I cried. Tears came to my eyes when?I wrote that.”
Ball said she could relate to the woman’s feelings of receiving an item of her mother’s that was thought to be lost.
“I told her I lost my mother, too, and lost everything in a fire and if someone found something of my mom’s and returned it, it would be very appreciated,”?Ball said.
Besides, it was only fair to return the ring, in Ball’s opinion.
“When we have truly experienced great pain and loss in our lives, we develop a deeper understanding, compassion and empathy surviving from that loss,” she said.