I lost part of my past yesterday.
I bought a little stuffed cow at a dollar store in 2005, the summer before I sailed around the world. It was cute, and small enough to hang from my purse strap, and I thought it’d be nice to have a friend as I embarked on my amazing adventure.
It traveled on my purse through Venezuela, South Africa, India, Japan. It rode with me as I drove around the country. Sometimes I tucked it inside my purse if I was going for a job interview, or in a nice restaurant. But usually I was proud to have it riding with me, keeping me company on my travels – and through my day-to-day life.
But yesterday afternoon, after a long and somewhat emotional day, I looked down and realized it was gone. I retraced my steps as best I could, but couldn’t find it. I called work, but they hadn’t seen it. I should have driven back across town and searched the parking lot and the elevator, but I hoped it was safely at home, waiting for me.
I never thought about not having it. I guess I figured at some point I’d retire it, and it would rest with my other stuffed animals. I never thought it would disappear without a whisper.
I know it’s silly to get upset about losing a toy. But it was just one more blow in a day that started out pretty well, but fell apart in a hurry. I feel like I let it down, that I didn’t take enough care to make sure it was safe. I’ve lost so much of my past recently; I wasn’t really ready to lose any more.
Anyway, I’m hoping I find it tucked in a corner of the parking lot today when I go to work. Or under the seat in my car. Or behind my desk. But I’m afraid it fell somewhere and was swept up and discarded like so much trash.
It’s easier to think that a child found it, and my little cow has a new playmate.
Anyway, maybe I’ll find it today. But if not, I’ll have to figure out how to let it go, and move on. Maybe there’s another lesson in there; right now, all I know is that my purse strap looks really empty.