Monday, October 24

Lost Things


How do you start to replace something when you can't even accept that you've lost it; keys, a bag, a necklace, your favorite shirt? I am a loser of things. All things. Right now I remember putting my wedding ring on the top of a shelf, somewhere doing something dirty with one of the kids. Was I changing a diaper? Was I cleaning up a gigantic spill? Either way, it's been 6 months of keeping my eyes open, and still no ring. I look for it unconsciously, constantly. Every time I reach up high for something that is just out of sight, I feel around for a tiny round smooth object that my fingers may have just missed the last time I reached up there.

One of my most legendary favorite lost objects was also a smooth little ring. But it was plastic and blue and transparent. It's face was a heart. I got it from a silly boy I met at the silly mall with my silly friends. I was 13, and though It's hard for me to say it, I have to admit that my silliness all started around that time. I am much sillier now than I was then. But this ring; this small token that told me I might not be as odd as I thought; I kept it long after I figured out what a silly silly person that boy was. I wore it around my neck on a long chain with a few other sentimental thread-able objects. But because I am a person who loses things, I sometimes wore it on my finger, and I sometimes put it in the pocket of my pants and washed my pants. I sometimes loaned those pants to other people and they washed them and gave them back to me, with the ring still inside. Through my melodramatic adolescent 8th grade year, I lost and found that ring so many times that I thought it was impossible for me to actually lose. I was so annoyed that the unlosable object was such a ridiculous reminder of such an insignificant person in my life. I did actually WANT to believe that.

So in an attempt to disprove my theory that I could not lose that ring, one day while walking home from school, I took it off my finger and tossed it into the air as high and far as I could. I was near a very large pine tree and imagined that it was caught on one of the high branches and I would never see it again. As time passed I wondered what had come of it. Had it fallen down? Had someone picked it up? Surely no one would have gone underneath the tree and found it. I went back one day and looked around under the tree; I didn't scour the area thoroughly or anything. I just looked a little bit. I tested my old hypothesis. And no I did not find it. I must admit that I was disappointed. But I learned a lesson: Some things can be lost. Now I've grown a bit. I know that you don't really need to try hard to lose most things. In fact somethings seem to have a mind to lose themselves all on their own. Once, a few years ago I saw my niece wearing a little ring exactly the same color and size as my little trinket. I almost wondered if I was going crazy, but I remembered very clearly that I had not found my ring and I had thrown it into the tree. I had to make a very conscious effort not to want the ring, even just to remind me of a childhood crush. 

This time though, I haven't lost a ring or my keys. I can't bring myself to believe most of the time that I've lost anything at all. Nothing that didn't want to be lost anyway. I wish I could come up with some sort of test, to check my theory that these infinitely important 'things' have indeed been lost. But every time I think about them too much, and try to imagine contacting them to figure out what happened, I shut down and it takes me a few days to recuperate. A few days that, as a mother and spouse, and a person who generally tries to paint a positive picture of her life, I can't afford. Today I feel like I can see more clearly than I can most of the time. It also hurts a lot more than it does most of the time. It seems like it's the first time that I've identified this huge, gaping, black hole, though I know it's actually on a weekly basis. But I do a pretty good job of keeping it all in.

They say that the train of mourning has different stops on its arrival to...wherever a safe, healthy place is. The first stop is denial. That's where I've been stuck for the last year and a half. Unconsciously I've been trying to replace some of those 'things' which have been lost by seeking out other relationships and people that I care about. But I'm like a broken record; trying to push my way over that nick in the groove that makes me repeat the same thing over and over again, the whole while trying to act like there is no nick. How can you replace something you've invested your whole self into for your entire life? I just want to be able to fill the empty spaces. This isn't the first time I've lost someone dear, but it's the first time I've lost three. Today I feel like a house sized anvil is crushing me with the weight of trying to act like I can just go on and time will heal all wounds. It won't.  But I feel like I'm getting closer to stepping back on the train to the next stop.

1 comment:

Evelyn said...

Oh my...I don't even know what to say. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this. I'm heartbroken for you. I truly cannot imagine, no matter how I try. I hope and pray all the time that your situation will be mended. You are so amazingly beautiful, inside and out, and you do an incredible job of keeping a positive perspective. I hope to one day rejoice when you write a post about how everything has improved, and what was lost has been found!