Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have You Ever Lost Something Valuable?

"Valuable" is in the eye of the beholder and subject to interpretation. We've all lost something we considered valuable; however, I am referring to things we can live without. In other words, losing a loved one in death shouldn't fall into this discussion, because at times the death of someone we loved can seem almost too much to bear.

In the fifties, my mother lost the beaters to her electric mixer, the big kind that sits on a stand. She'd had the mixer for several years, and she used it almost every day. She had all three of us girls searching everywhere we could think of. One of us said, "You threw them in the trash by accident. That's the only explanation left." She would never, ever accept that. She'd say, "No, I would never do that." And even twenty years later, she'd wonder, "What happened to those beaters?"

My husband and I at separate times have lost our matching wedding rings. I wrote an entire blog about that a few months ago. I remember how we felt, thinking we'd never find them, but we did. In retrospect, though, we could have lived without them. Our marriage wouldn't tarnish, nothing in our life would change, and we'd manage just fine. We might have even bought new rings if we hadn't found them.

Last Christmas, my husband bought a beautiful pen and pencil set for me. Really, this set is special, very beautiful, as well as practical. I keep them on top of my desk, to the left, at the base of my little blue lamp. One day I noticed the automatic pencil to the set was not there. I began to search. Did it fall into the nearby trashcan? Did it roll off the desk and under my dresser? Is it in a drawer? A pocket? I went through every single thing in the room to no avail. When had I used it last? Could I have taken it to the hall desk where I have two built-in bookshelves? Could it be anywhere in the desk? I consulted my husband. Did you borrow my pencil? Is it anywhere in your office, on your desk, in your closet?

He and I searched the entire house, opening everything that could be opened. Bottom line, we scoured the house--and the vehicles--until we could not think of any other possible place to look.
I searched off and on for days. He told me he'd buy a new set for me.

No, I said, I want this set—just like my mother wouldn't accept the fact those beaters were gone.

But he began searching for another set anyway. When he found one he thought I'd like, and before he ordered the set, he sat down with me and said: "That pencil did not disappear into thin air. It's in this house somewhere. Now, think. What were you doing when you last used it?" I couldn't remember, of course, but I kept thinking about the hall desk. "I think I looked up a phone number, and the book is on the first bookshelf."

He said, open it—see if you left it in there. Nope. No pencil. While we stood in the hallway where this little desk is built into the wall, he reached up and pulled down a book, one I use often. He said, "Look." Sticking out at the top, between the pages, was about an inch of that mechanical pencil. Then I remembered having the book on my desk, open, and using the pencil to take notes. I have a habit of laying a pen or pencil in the groove of the open book. He's taller and saw it, but I couldn't unless I stood on tiptoes.

Would you believe that I cried? But really, would the loss of the pencil have changed my life? No.

Sometimes I think we waste too much time remembering and regretting something we've lost.

A rejected manuscript.
A friendship.
A connection with a family member.
An opportunity.
An entire unproductive morning.
A chance for success.
A visit with someone before it's too late.
An unfinished project.
Our youth.

I hope that you and I will evaluate our lives, accept that which we cannot regain, clear our hearts and minds, and move on.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
My Website
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Sweethearts of the West-Blog
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  1. I lose stuff all the time! Sometimes I find it in an unusual place (where I put it). Mostly I blame the cats.

    I like the parable of the man searching through the grass under the street light. "Lost a cuff link," he said. How did that happen, I asked. "Dropped it over there." So, why are you searching under the street light? "Light's better here."

  2. Thanks, Dac--good point! I told you the wrong blog. Sorry...I wanted you to read the Sweethearts of the West.

  3. hi,
    i am an iranian girl, i was searching about this topic "Have You Ever Lost Something Valuable?", i found your blog and i enjoyed reading it.