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Man loses $9K ring in Yarmouth surf, still wins woman's hand

Posted by Your Town  August 11, 2010 10:14 AM

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One important detail was able to slip through the cracks of a Dedham man’s plans Monday for a romantic marriage proposal on Cape Cod – literally.

Matt Cawley’s plan to propose to his girlfriend of more than a year, Stacey Scanlon of Needham, Monday morning on a jetty overlooking Bass River Beach in Yarmouth went awry when the $9,000 diamond ring he planned to give her fell through the rocks down to the sea.

Cawley had taken Scanlon on an early morning stroll out to the jetty which he had played on as a child, he said. There on a rock he had placed a sand dollar with the antique-style ring tied to it with string. He pointed out the sand dollar to Scanlon, and she went to pick it up.

Before Cawley had a chance to pop the question, and before Scanlon realized what had happened, the ring slipped down through the rocks.

“She picked it up and the weight of the ring just made the knot come undone, and it clunked down the rocks,” Cawley said. “It was horrible.”

Scanlon said she wasn’t able to catch a glimpse of the ring, which was set with a diamond passed down from a relative of Cawley's, before it slid down through the jetty.

“It was a million emotions at once,” Scanlon said. “Sadness, shock, but excitement because I was being proposed to.”

Cawley and Scanlon with the help of lifeguards and passersby searched for the ring for about four hours without luck, he said. Dejected, the couple began to walk back to their rented house, where Cawley’s family was waiting with champagne, worried that the lapse of time meant Scanlon had said no, he said.

Along the way, Cawley’s cousin drove by in his car and picked them up, the couple said. Realizing he had still not properly proposed to Scanlon, Cawley said he finally popped the question in the back of his cousin’s Mazda.

Scanlon said yes.

Only later did the couple find out that, unbeknownst to them, Cawley’s mother had insured the ring in full.

“But at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter about the ring,” Cawley said.

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