I spent the better part of last night tossing and turning, trying to turn my search for my beloved tiny digital camera over to my unconscious mind. Part of me knew exactly where the darn thing was supposed to be…in my purse after taking it to a friend’s house on July 4th. Beyond the fact that it obviously wasn’t in my purse, I hit a brick wall trying to retrace where it could be. One of my final thoughts before finally settling into a fitful sleep was that it might be back in my needlepoint bag, where it had ridden home from the lake. I had discarded that notion, because the thought of taking it to my friend’s house was so clear. Maybe it was in the cup holder of the car. Maybe it was still at her house. I almost got up and searched those places and sent Ann an e-mail to see if she’d found it.
I awoke and went straight to the needlepoint bag, and voila, nestled into the Christmas stockings and ornaments I’m working furiously on was the little camera.
It wasn’t the camera that I hated losing so much, it could be replaced, but the card held memories of a happy time with my grandchildren at the lake that would not ever be replaced. I thought about snapping pictures of Becket (10) and Owen (4) learning to canoe as we devised ways to get back and forth to the swim dock now that our pier is a shambles from wind and flood. There was a snap of happy faces of a teenaged grandson and his younger cousins and siblings all piled on the swing also missing.
Well, they’re not lost and gone forever, as my husband used to accuse me of claiming every time I couldn’t find my keys. He also says that if I always put things back where they belong, I wouldn’t be forever searching for something. His gibes have taught me to be more methodical in my ways, and I spend less time frustrated with things that are lost…they’re usually in one of two or three places rather than most anywhere.
Some things from our past really are lost and gone forever, though, and those things plague me to this day. A uniform shoe…only one…missing since the 80’s. Our wedding album and my grandfather’s childhood chair…lost in a move. Most of the valuables my husband inherited from his mother…stolen in a home invasion while we were on vacation at the Transplant Games. But I keep telling myself they were only things.
Worse is losing people you love. There are the inevitable losses to illness and old age, hopefully only a few losses due to differences, and a host of losses due to negligence in keeping up with people through the years. Working on my upcoming fiftieth high school reunion has reconnected me with many classmates that I truly enjoyed once upon a time, but in the days before the internet, if you lost someone who moved away and weren’t diligent about writing or calling, they could truly go missing from your life. I’m loving finding some of these folks again…memories truly are forever, even if you don’t have photos of them.