Friday, July 2, 2010

Lost and Found

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”.


  1. Not precious by a long shot, but my contact lenses disappeared yesterday. They were nowhere to be found, and after half an hour of frantic searching, guess where I found it- folded in quarter and in the corner of my eye!!!!

    The pen will turn up for sure- things always do.

  2. I lose stuff all the time. I put stuff away,but then the thing with me is I can't remember where I put it. My grandfather gave me a an old coin, he gave it to me when he went in the hospital one time. I told him I would take care of it and I took it home,and put in a special coin book, now I can't find the coin or the coin book. I have no idea where that book is or the coin. I havn't told him that I misplaced his coin but I think I am going to have to brake the news to him sometime which is going to be hard. I hope that I find it before I have to tell him. I probably put it somewhere dumb, I am always doing that.

    ps: Hope your pen turns up.

  3. Several years ago, I lost the pendant to a necklace that had been given to me by one of my best friends. I wore the necklace every day because it meant so much to me, but one morning before school, the chain had somehow come unclasped (maybe broke, I don't remember), and the pendant had dropped off. I looked all over the floor, under furniture, everywhere I had been that morning, but to no avail. I found myself going through the stages of coping with grief (denial, anger, etc), albeit pretty quickly. By the time I was at the acceptance stage, I was in class and felt something fall out of my shirt. Apparently the pendant had gotten hung up on the inside of my sweatshirt. I nearly danced I was so happy to have found it. Now I keep it on a much more secure chain.

    Like Rayna said, I'm sure your pen will reappear.

  4. When I was a little girl I would sometimes lose something and know that when my mum found out I was going to be in deep trouble. Fearing my mother's considerable wrath I would pray to St. Anthony. When it looked like this wasn't getting the desired result I would switch to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. When that turned out to be an exercise in futility I would run to my Auntie Sheila and ask her to intercede.

  5. I've lost things so much, I have become an expert at finding them...for other people. I usually find what ever I lost in the last place I look. Right where it was suppose to be. But I too have called on the powers that be. I send out a desperate SOS to anyone in the universe that is listening, relatives,Saints, gods... I'm not too particular. And there it is right where I looked at least 20 times.

  6. I do the same thing with my reading glasses all the time: Take them off and set them down on the desk, walk away for 5 minutes, they disappear, and then 2 weeks later there they are right on my desk again...weird. It's like there's some sort of cosmic waiting room these things disappear into until we've given them up for lost, then the universe decides to pity us and let us have them back.

  7. Have you ever read this book? It's a kids book but I always remember it because it explains where all those things go, across the barrier!

  8. There is a little phenomenon called "reality shifting" that speaks to this -- er -- phenomenon.

    Shirley Jackson, the writer, when she couldn't find a particular utensil in her kitchen, would call out for it, open and slam a drawer, open it again -- and there it would be.

  9. Hey all,

    Deb and I just got back from a wonderful girls' weekend at a friend's farm. We snuck away on Thurs, scheduled our Friday post, and have just come back to read your great comments and stories.

    PS -- we HAVE to share with you that while we were cavorting on the farm, one of our girls lost a very expensive pair of bifocals in the pond (don't ask, but suffice to say, there was a lot of giggling involved before, during, and after). The glasses disappeared into the fronds of seaweed at the bottom. As we scoured the bottom from shore, it suddenly became clear that this was going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But we HAD to find them. We spent a few hours over each of the two days looking, combing the bottom inch by inch, and reluctantly entering the murky water -- then dodging water snakes and dock spiders and any number of creatures from our own imaginations.

    Well, our pleading worked: the glasses were finally seen glinting through the fronds and summarily scooped up amid much relief and triumphant shouting. A great moment to mark a great weekend! And the pond water was remarkably refreshing.

  10. I have lost my contacts before, and I hate when I do that. When I had glasses, before contacts I would always lay them down everywhere and lose them almost everyday. That is why I got contacts, now I always lose my contacts,the only time I don't lose them is if they are in my eyes, every other time I lose them.

  11. I once lost my glasses on my face. But that was a long long time ago. The best part was that everyone was frantically looking with me until the person -- my mother, likely -- looked up and exclaimed, "Gae, you're wearing them!"

    Years and years ago, I lost my engagement right and found it ON MY BIRTHDAY at midnight the moment it became my birthday on the floor of my closet. This summer, I lost it again. It has not returned from it's adventure yet. It's making me crazy. I'm going to replace it with an ugly cheap thing just to teach it a lesson.

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  13. sorry not another comment and this dosn't have to relate to this post but just thought you all might want to see this video if you all like art. it is a great video, check it out the artist name is Michael Israel


  14. Bifocals?!!??!! We call them progressive lenses, Barbara - we buy them so there is no tell-tale line and the world doesn't know that one has passed that day (five minutes after turning 40) when you can't read your own watch. But since you started this, I can't but retaliate. I'm outing the bunch of youse.....consider this an honour outing......

    They all dye their hair.

  15. Okay, Gae -- that's hysterical! And, Lyndsie, thanks for the link. That was beautiful -- and a nice gift for you Americans on this Fourth of July.

    Anonymous, um, thanks for outing us. But I may have beaten you to the punch a few weeks ago with our Hair and Now post. Just sayin'...

    But still -- appreciate the fine line between "bifocals" and "progressive". Yeah, pun intended.

  16. Oops, lost a comment again. I'm glad you found the ring and pen. Reminds me of when my diamond ear stud disappeared down the shower drain and I had to promise Don a lot of nice things in order for him to open up the back of the bath and suck it (and a lot of disgusting appendages) up with the industrial vacuum. Since them, both earrings have vanished.


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