Barbara:Have you ever lost something that was really precious to you––and you can’t figure out how the hell you lost it?
I wear three rings to honour my marriage in this order: my wedding band, a ten-year anniversary ring, and my engagement ring. The ten-year anniversary ring was a surprise gift from my husband as we had promised no gifts that year in lieu of a trip away. But it was the morning of our anniversary, the trip had already been taken, and I was in bed, lolling. P wondered aloud what “that thing” was and while I sleepily looked around for the nefarious “thing”, he carelessly threw it at me. After my initial shudder of fear (okay, I’m highly-gullible), I saw it was actually a ring-sized box—well, I’m sure I don’t need to describe how much I like shiny things in boxes that are meant to adorn me. It was (is) beautiful and I’ve been wearing the ring ever since, as I said, between the other two rings.
Now, I do take the rings off each night and only put them back on after all the creaming up in the morning. But to my horror a few weeks ago, I was shocked and dismayed to suddenly notice only the wedding band and engagement ring on my finger. I went to my jewelry box and the ring wasn’t there. At first, I was calm—it HAD to be somewhere. If it wasn’t on my finger, it was simply in the house somewhere. Since I always wore it between the two other rings, it couldn’t possibly have fallen off. Or could it have???
I looked EVERYWHERE. I emptied my jewelry box. I tore apart the area around it. I tore apart our bedroom. I shook out clothes and emptied baskets. I even opened drains and poked around. My husband was out of town and I finally broke the news to him. Obviously, he was disappointed, but he offered up some other ideas of where to look. I looked: nothing. I had other people look. Had other people take the place apart. Nothing. I was getting more and more worried, more and more hopeless.
And yet, I kept “asking” for the ring to come back. I can’t tell you who I was asking, or what, but I asked anyway. Repeatedly. And then, just as suddenly, it returned. I was getting dressed the other day and felt my foot step on something hard and small. My heart stopped. I just KNEW it was going to be the ring. I looked down and, sure enough, under my bare foot, there was the shining, wonderful “thing”, as if bidden by a desperate woman and having decided to ease her pain and return to her after some mysterious adventure.
I’m sure there must be a logical explanation, but I can’t think of it. Just thrilled it’s back on my finger.
The same exact thing happened a few years ago with an engraved pen a dear friend gave me (Sistah!). As a writer, you can imagine how important both symbolically and practically a pen is. Deb had given me a gorgeous pen the year before, so Deb’s pen was my precious home pen, and I decided to use Sistah’s pen as my precious travel pen. I finished an entire re-write of my first novel with that pen at my sister’s cottage.
And then it disappeared.
I was beyond confused. I had taken such good care of it, putting it always in the zippered compartment of my purse. Again, all the routes were re-traced, but the pen was gone.
So I kept asking for it back. And then one day several months later, it popped up as if nothing at all had happened. As if I hadn’t completely emptied and taken apart every inch of where it might be. As if it, too, had traveled someplace really important and came back to me the moment it had accomplished its mission.
And now the clincher––. Wait––Deb, could you please stop reading? I can’t bear to tell you this next part, so just skip along to the end, would you? Love you!
Okay, clincher––that fantastic, precious pen that Deb gave me? Also disappeared. After years of service. My at-home, never-to-leave-the-house, given-to-me-by-a-best-friend-to-celebrate-a-creative-triumph pen, the pen that meant so much and achieved so much, which had written countless tales, notes, and revisions, it was suddenly gone. Is still gone. And I keep calling for it!
I try to comfort myself with the thought that, for now, it’s having some too-great adventure. And that it, too, will reappear when it’s damn well ready. And I will be here to welcome it home and listen—and write—as it tells its tale.
Deb: We have this happen in our lives so often. The lost item reappearing in a spot that you are sure you searched. My Catholic friends call for Saint Anthony and darned if that doesn’t work for them. I have employed him a few times making sure he knew I wasn’t Catholic. But that is the beauty of the Saints. They don’t judge, they just do their job. I also sometimes feel it is our spirit guides (okay, stay with me here) reminding us that they are around us.
So sorry about the pen. I know they are just things and I usually subscribe to that theory, but sometimes when you lose something that has meaning, it hurts. SAINT ANTHONY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barbara: Okay, I’m gonna try it. What the hell. PS, don’t tell Saint Anthony I said “hell”.