I probably should wait a few weeks before writing this. During deep emotional response to life’s little losses, isn’t always the best time to express raw feeling. But,then if I wait a few weeks, the raw feeling will get analyzed, objectified, and dried out--so maybe it is better to write during the feeling time.
It’s about a series of losses I have had lately. These aren’t losses of important things, like people. But, the accumulative effect of the losses seems to be almost as though it were more important than just mere things.
I’m the kid that collected Nancy Drew books, dusted them daily, and went out to replace any book that had even a scratch or a torn cover. This may appear to be some OCD reaction, but I don’t really think so.
I was adopted. I didn’t feel much sense of belonging in my family. Long story. Another time. So there was some sense that in this collection, I was building a heritage. They were mine. They were precious. I took good care of them with a deep respect that they might get passed down to my children and grandchildren.
Now, one of those books is missing. I’m not blaming. I’m just saying. I kept my 36 Nancy Drew books in pristine condition for decades. Now they are not in good condition. They have been boxed, moved, stored in basements, attacked by moisture, people, movers and age.
Then I was given three antique chairs, two ginger jars, and a carved wooden horse, all really valuable and to be treasured. Two of the three chairs are still in good shape, but the third is missing. Somehow in one of our moves it just got left. Again, not blaming, but I think of it. The ginger jars are cracked--again from misuse by others, not me, and the wooden horse got broken. It’s claim to value was that the carving was from a single block of wood. Now it’s in three pieces.
I lost two boxes in the move from California to Illinois, and in those boxes were kitchen things which included a bread knife, a gift from my dad, who died shortly after he gave me the knife. I am sad every time I slice bread.
But, I think it was the losses from the past few months that has gotten to me the most. Last winter, I was shopping for groceries and when I got home, I went to put my rings and my gold bracelet on my dresser, where I always put them, every time I return home, but this time, no bracelet. This was a 14K solid gold bangle of gold given to me by my bio mom who wanted to give me a token of her love after we had been separated for the first 28 years of my life. I have worn it for the last 30 some years every single day. I remember right after she gave it to me, I was asked to remove it at the airport because it “dinged” in the metal detector. Taking it off and placing it in an airport tray, I felt like I was losing my mother all over again. But I was able to put it right back on, right after the metal detector area. Not so this winter. It is gone. It probably got knocked off with the handle of a plastic grocery bag, and since it was winter and under my coat sleeve, I didn’t see it happen. I wore this token for three decades. I miss it. It feels like I’ve lost my mother because it was the symbol of our reunion.
And, now, this past snowstorm, where our cars were under two feet of snow in the apartment complex parking lot, someone used a tool to steal my Jaguar cat ornament from my car. I feel some kind of shock. The car has been in this lot for four years. Why now? Yes, it’s only a car. It’s only an ornament. It means little to me. Except, I am beginning to wonder if the girl who dusted off her books every day just isn’t supposed to have treasures on earth.
I mean this is not important, is it? I have friends who are losing husbands, mothers, fathers. These are just things. I keep telling myself this. I know everyone has losses. Everyone has these stories. But, it doesn’t really lessen my sadness.
It doesn’t feel like just things. It feels like I just can’t hold onto things I care about. I am trying to see the lesson. I can pontificate with the best of them. I know the lessons about moth and rust and earth and heaven. The closer I get to heaven, the less I even care about most of my things. I want to get rid of most of this stuff.
I just want my bracelet back.
It’s not gonna happen. So I just want to stop feeling sad about it.