Sometimes you have to…


The irony in my life sometimes takes me by complete surprise. Take for instance last week… In the midst of an absolutely insane week of chaos between, a familial crisis, a major forensic project for college course, a full production and a heavy work load… I lost the Saint Teresa medal that hangs on a chain around my neck.

Now why is this important? First of all, she was given to me by my parents. Second, she is the patron saint of all writers’ and my patron saint. Am I overly religious? No… But I am overly sentimental and losing the medal created a breach of personal security that was just one more straw that tipped my scales.

Odd how the loss of something so small can create such a stir in one’s equilibrium and yet… I became slightly off kilter emotionally and spiritually in its absence. The trouble was, I had traversed six different counties during that 24-48 hours and moved a child from two different dwellings. The possibilities of the medal’s whereabouts were daunting and I almost caved just from the sheer magnitude of the area I had covered.

Exhausted from a preliminary search, I sunk into my desk chair and said a prayer to Saint Anthony (Patron Saint of Lost Articles) to find my Saint Teresa medal. When no inspiration came as to where else to look… I went immediately to Saint Jude for help. Saint Jude is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes! He and I are well aquainted!!

Convinced I would simply have to replace the medal myself at a later date, I tried to move on… but things just felt wrong. Saint Teresa is the one whose prayer always keeps me sane. “To know deep within your soul that you are exactly where and who you are meant to be…”

So, having lost that… how does one function without such an internal compass? Hours went by and to keep my mind occupied, I did my best to read chapters in my forensics’ field manual and outline my paper. I sat at my desk and worked dilligently for several hours and then suddenly got up for no apparent reason and went to the kitchen. Once there, I stood in front of the sink and thought… “Damn, I’m so tired and upset, I can’t remember why I even came in here!” Convinced there had been a subconscious reason I went through a grocery list of intentions. Was I hungry? Was I thirsty? Had I been on my way to the laundry room and got sidetracked by a thought? Had I forgottent to turn on the dishwasher?

Hmmmm…. nothing came immediately to mind, so I turned to retrace my steps thinking maybe it would come to me!  For some odd reason I turned back to look out the window over the sink and saw a Cardinal.

Ahhhh… my mother. I silently apologized for losing the medal and vowed to continue my search after completing my homework. As nothing else presented itself, I turned around to leave the room. When I did so, I stepped on the mat with my bare foot and felt something underneath. It felt cold and without my glasses; I assumed it to be a wayward day old dog turd. Why? Because my darling dogs do not always wait for the great outdoors to do their duty!

Envisioing a foot full of pooh…I hopped up and down while I gathered a piece of paper towel to grab the foreign object and wipe the bottom of the affected foot. Just as I bent  to wipe…I saw a glint of light flash across a metal surface and my heart jumped for joy!

The lump underneath my foot was not a tiny cold turd, but the medal I had been searching for, for over 2 days! Now seriously… what are the odds? In the last 48 hours I had been everywhere, including down to the boat and the beach! Every room of my house and three other houses…hauled furniture and boxes from two different homes… ridden in three different cars and walked the dogs randomly over 2 acres of property! But there on the mat, just at the same spot I fill my tea kettle every morning laid the medal my father and mother had given me over 40 years before.

I picked it up- said a prayer of thanks to Jude and my mother outside the window and placed it back on my chain and sighed! Sometimes you have to go through every saint in the book to get the answer you need.

Or, had my mother been trying to tell me something simpler. That sometimes we have to lose something in order to find something even greater… our appreciation!


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