#SOL21: Lost and Found

We’re 19 days into 2021 and the weather has been a topic of conversation every single day. Yes, another gray day. No sun. Gray. Gloomy. Cloudy. Gloomy. Another day of fog. Fog visibility warnings (5) . Blizzard warnings. Gray days. Cloudy nights. Freezing fog. A layer of snow. A layer of ice. A layer of snow again topped by ice. The weather has seemed oppressive. Is sunshine “lost?” Will it be “found?”

I’m reminded of Brent Gilson’s blog “Lost and Found” where he wrote about feeling a loss of joy due to Covid 19 and the changes in instruction. And yet by the end of the post, his inquiry project and his teaching was filled with joy. Do we need to dig below the surface to FIND the gems? Is it our perception that causes us to “think” something is lost? Found?

Lost and Found . . . a juxtaposition.

This weekend I lost my godmother. Not to Covid, but a goodbye to Earthly presence two months shy of her 98th birthday. With the holiday and an out of state daughter (and of course Covid), plans are still in limbo. And that’s why I feel as though I am stuck in this juxtaposition as I consider my memories.

What is a godmother?

In my generation in our family, our godparents are our aunts and uncles. With seven of us, that pulled in many, but not all of my mom’s nine siblings. In more recent years we have gathered as a subgroup with the same godparents and often compared stories. And there are many stories to tell . . .

My godmother . . .

That feisty godmother who could fire off a quip to stop you in your tracks.

That matriarch . . . mother, godmother, sister-in-law, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, great aunt . . . so many names for the roles she filled in our lives.

That  joie de vivre that filled the space around her.

A card player who maybe had her own rules for games.

A vibrant human being.

That playhouse in their back yard in Shueyville.

An “old soul” who definitely believed in fun!

Because there were two Aunts with the name Doris/Dorris, she called herself “Old Dorris” with a laugh!

A godmother who is now reunited with her husband and many “Baby Ruths” in several generations. (I wrote about her husband, Uncle Bob, here.)

Because of Covid, we did not have our annual Ruth Christmas in 2020. (Lost)

Ruth Christmas 2015. Now in January of 2021 only 6 Elders remain.

But we did have in 2016, this 70th anniversary celebration with my godparents. (Found)

July 2016

When I began writing this post, I envisioned a column from the left of things “lost” and a column with right justify of things “found” but each memory and thought is so complex with layers and nuances that allow it to fit into either category. Not just one or the other! Perhaps that is truly a blessing!

The common denominators are family, love and laughter. We long for a return to face to face events. The hugs. The buzz of conversations. That memorable laugh. And of course, the food that accompanies our gatherings! Zoom, email, Facebook, messenger . . . all of these tools allow us to “connect” so we are not adrift on the sea of life. But oh, how we long for human contact!

As 2021 begins, what have you lost? What have you found? Where are your silver linings?

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Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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8 responses

  1. This is such an interesting way to consider these events – lost and found. It sheds light on how complicated the world can be. I am sorry for your losses, but you are blessed with your founds.

    1. Thanks. I think the loss of rituals/routines from the pandemic has caused my own confusion, concern and consternation! So blessed for the almost 98 years of her life! And her impact on our family!

  2. Fran, I am sorry for your loss but happy you took time to remember and shared it here. You captured your Godmother’s spirit so well and I so enjoyed “meeting” her through your slice. I think you are on to something when you state about loss and found being “so complex with layers and nuances that allow it to fit into either category.” It seems your reflections and your mindset allow the joy to surface. Thanks for reminding me of this. It seems your found memories will sustain you throught this loss.

    1. Sally,
      I still have a fear of not adequately capturing this fearless, fun-loving, feisty “fairy godmother” of mine. She was a force to be reckoned with! So many memories to talk about!

  3. Fran, I am sorry for your loss. A godparent holds a special place in our heart and lives. Just like grandparents, they will often allow things that might not be allowed at home. Even through this sorrow you have the joy of memories shared.

    1. My grandparents have been gone for almost 40 years so yes, a very special place in our heart and lives. The “Elders” have filled those gaps and we celebrate and love the characters that are larger than life!

  4. What a beautiful reflection on a person beloved to you. I am sorry for your loss and also for the difficulties of the time- not being able to join in grief and memorializing the person who you have “lost.” But you did it here, and like others I think one important point in your reflection is
    “each memory and thought is so complex with layers and nuances that allow it to fit into either category. Not just one or the other!”

  5. Thanks, Fran.
    The dangers of categories….
    Such a shift to realize that absolute black and white are just small portions of colors with many, many shades of gray in between those two points.
    So is life!

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