I’ll be the first to admit it. My memory is not what it used to be for short-term things. Since most of my friends seem to be in the same predicament, let’s just say it’s an age-related loss, like diminishing hearing, thinning hair, and slowing down.
Since my recovery from cancer two years ago, however, I’ve been writing mostly about what I’ve recovered and discovered in my life after cancer. I am so lucky…
1. to be a cancer survivor
2. to have a loving family
3. to have regained much of my strength and health
4. to be able to do most of the things I used to do
5. to have found new activities I love
6. to be part of this writing community
What I haven’t written about, or even mentioned, are some of the things I’ve lost, or been losing since I had cancer.
1. I lost my confidence in always being healthy
2. I lost my relative freedom from seeing doctors
3. I lost my desire to continue being a teacher (too hard)
4. I lost the ability to exercise as I once did
Now let me tell you about what I really miss…
My favorite everyday hat. A red knitted beret which I think I lost while walking just a day or so ago. I put it into my pocket because I didn’t need it at the time. I even retraced my steps today in the park in the bitter cold of winter, hoping to find it somewhere along the path, lying in wait for me. I felt I owed it to my hat to search for it. No luck.
A couple of weeks ago I lost a cherished gift from a friend who passed away last year. Decades ago she sent me a handsome, handcrafted writing portfolio, covered in a lovely navy blue cloth with a tapestry pattern. Inside were special handmade papers, and nooks and crannies for writing papers. I used it infrequently because I was always afraid I’d lose it.
Around the time I did lose it, I was caught up in post-presidential frenzy: signing petitions online, going to local activist meetings, getting and sending emails to friends and various organizations, reading the NY Times from cover to cover every day for the latest outrage, and watching MSNBC news at night to find out what was transpiring that day. At least a week passed before I realized it was gone.
I must have taken the portfolio with me one of those busy, distracting days and left it somewhere. I have gone or called everywhere I can remember going around that time…with no luck. I am 99.9% sure I won’t find it at this point. Sometimes miracles happen; I’m hoping for one. The portfolio was such a lovely reminder of how my friend appreciated me. Now they’re both gone.
Maybe losing things is part of learning to “let go.” There are so many things I cherish that I will have to let go of eventually. I can’t leave all my treasures and mementoes for my children to sort out.
Still…I wish I could find that hat. Please let me know if you find it!