Monday, 14 April 2008

Lost Stolen or Strayed

I was talking to a friend the other day about things we have lost, and what they mean to us.

Thankfully I haven’t lost anything recently, though in my twenties I had phases of losing earrings – though only one out of each pair. Next it was contact lenses – again only one out of the pair. Many’s the time I spent hours crawling round the floor, patting the floor with outstretched palm, desperate to find that elusive bit of glass.

But the thing I remember most if losing a St Christopher I was given when I was about twelve. It had belonged to my mother who had been given it when she was a child by her Irish Catholic nanny, Una.

I was very fond of Una who could teach you wonderful things like how to play poker. She had a giggly sense of humour and was, looking back, incredibly wise. Shame she never married. But I digress.

When the St Christopher passed to me from my mother I was delighted as I knew it came with Una’s love as well. So I wore it constantly. While I had a bath, while I slept, it never came off.

Then one day I made it to the lacrosse team and we had an away match. On this foreign turf I ran up and down and managed to score a few goals, and when we changed back at the end of the game, I realised I had no St Christopher.

Distraught, I combed the pitch, walking up and down in icy winds with tears pouring down my face. I found the St Christopher on a muddy patch near goal.

This happened more times than I can remember, until I began to feel that this medal had a homing instinct. St Christopher was, after all, the patron saint of travellers.

So when it went missing for the nth time I didn’t worry. And of course that was when I lost it for good. So the motto of this is never to get complacent.

I still miss that St Christopher, all these years later. I can see its silver smiling face, rub its rough edges on my fingers, feel the heat coming off its tarnished surfaces. I wonder where it is now?

What have you lost that was important to you?

13 comments:

Lane said...

I hope someone deserving found your St Christopher.
I lost a ring given to me on my 21st birthday by my mother. I still miss it.

Flowerpot said...

Oh Lane that must have been terrible. I bet you miss it still.

Rebecca Taunton said...

I hope someone found your St Christophers and treasures it as much as you did.

I lose things *all* the time. In fact things would probably remain lost if ET didn't have the amazing ability to find them for me.
I don't think I've ever lost anything that I miss, although there have been a few things "nearly" lost (like the bracelet ET gave me).

Flowerpot said...

I'm glad you didn't lose that silver bracelet RT - hang onto it tight!

Akelamalu said...

Oh what a shame you didn't find it that last time. You already know about my tale of the lost watch, which I thankfully found. :)

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Not long ago a friend noticed a diamond missing from the eternity ring hubby had given me for our 10th anniversary. We'd been to keep fit that morning so I slowly retraced our steps, turning over anything that vaguely resembled a diamond. Finally, I gave up and went home. I took the ring off and resigned myself to having to get a new diamond. Hubby called to me not long after. He'd stepped on something sharp and examined the culprit. It was the diamond! Oh happy day!

I too have a St. Christopher medal given to me when I was 12. It lives at the bottom of my jewelry box. Or did last time I checked. When I get home, I will check again.

Of course, you know the story of me losing my and my children's passports. Disaster, but only for a day.

Ellee Seymour said...

You rarely see people with St Christopher's today, do you? The one thing I often lose when I am rushed is my sanity. I hope I have it back for a while...

laurie said...

oh what a great question.

there are two things.

one is a turquoise and silver ring a friend gave me when i was 16. she was 24, and was a singer, and i thought she was incredibly glamorous. she was half native-american, and beautiful, and she had a wonderful singing voice. she and i worked at the public library she she used to sing for the kids.

i lost the ring--i had tucked it in the pocket of a big shirt i wore in biology class to protect my clothes when i cut up a frog....and it must have fallen out. i never saw it again.

the other thing was a small ceramic leprechaun my father gave me for my 18th birthday.

this was not a grinning shiny guy with a green hat and a shilleleigh. this was a shy, small brown little man, a wood creature, a faery. it was gorgeous and unusual and i have absolutely no idea what happened to it.

i lost both of those objects 30 years ago, but i remember them both vividly still.

Miss Understood said...

I lost a lot of jewellery (18th birthday presents, grandmother's pendant and rings, sentimental stuff given to me by famly and friends)when my flat got burgled about 20 years ago. It still makes me sad.

Sweet Irene said...

If you are strictly talking about objects and not people, I would have to say my poetry album, that was personally embossed with Victorian like pictures, that I owned when I was about nine years old. I've looked for it here and there on swap meets and the like, but I have a feeling I will never find it again.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - yes I'm glad you found that one. Funny I hadnt thought of my st Christopher for ages but I can see it so clearly.

wakeup - I'm so glad your hubby found the diamond. And yes, losing the passports must have been a nightmare...

Flowerpot said...

oh laurie what a shame for both of those. I particularly like the idea of the leprechaun. How sad. Isnt it amazing how clearly we remember them?

MissU - what a shame. That happened to a friend of mine. Makes you think very unkind thoguhts to whoever did that.

Flowerpot said...

ellee - no come to think of it you don't see them much nowadays. Hope your sanity is restored at least for a while - I know the feeling!

Sweet Irene - I do hope you find it. It sounds a real treasure.