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Lost and Found


Lost and Found

One thing I have always wanted to know was… Have I made a useful impression on my two children that could help them in their lives after I’m gone? It’s truly the main thrust of my existence in their lives. Because what use would I have been, if there was nothing of some form of knowledge of power that I had not passed on to them? No other reliable source more powerful than I to depend on, outside of their own fortitude? For over a decade of their young lives four to five mornings a week before usually before school. We touched upon religious readings/lessons at home, anatomy & physiology and as we were ready to drive off the United States Constitution. And most of the twenty-seven amendments. And finally, I wanted to know what they were grateful for, for that day. They were not allowed to hear any music, nor leave the car for school till they told me one thing for that day that they were grateful for. This stopped mostly before their ages fifteen and seventeen years of age. It started, when the oldest was age four and the youngest was age two. I taught them how to fish before their third and fifth birthdays. I taught them how to play chess when they were ages four and six.

So, today as I figured what dinner was to be. It was either, my Homemade Chicken Vegetable soup for the three of us. Or it was going to a distant vegetarian restaurant by six this evening. My oldest was going with her boyfriend, Christmas shopping and told us they wouldn’t be able to make it till seven for dinner. My youngest had bukoo homework, and didn’t want to eat that late . My oldest didn’t understand that my youngest has to get kind of revved up for the huge homework task, and the calculus quiz she has tomorrow. I get it.  Besides I had prepped both my kids that dinner would be no later than six tonight. Rest is important, especially this time of year and its new stresses.

My oldest replied that she and her boyfriend would eat something at American Dream. My youngest said, “Could we just go to the store and get sushi?”  I replied, “Yes. However, just for you. I’ll have leftovers or the new soup I made yesterday.”  She agreed. All were happy. I added, “I need to get this piece of mail certified first. You can stay in the car. I’ll turn the engine off. It’s warm enough in here and besides, it could be a few minutes.”  She agreed it was fine.  She nodded and said so as she was looking down at her iPhone and playing a game. She already had a long day with zero period school starting just after seven and then Winter track practice after school. It was now just about five in the afternoon.

Me still recovering from a third bout of shingles in the same area within twelve years, that as well a broken and chipped rib from eight days ago, along with a smattering of bruised cartilage in two rib areas. A tad exhausted, as I attempted to complete my apple turnover task this afternoon after writing, and studying for classes I am in, and a push to run a halfway decent last mile of my now weeks of easy slow running. I finally felt like I wouldn’t fall on my face. Yet, I knew not to get too greedy with feeling better by a few percentage points.

So, onto to get my youngest sushi from a local market. She wanted me to come in with her. I was tired, yet I acquiesced. She remarked, “Mom, you always need to pick up something.”  I rolled my eyes as I pulled into a parking spot. Then remarked, “Well, um…” She quickly returned a verse, “Mom, I want you there with me.” She paused and kiddingly said, “What if someone kidnaps me?” I replied, “In the store? Hmmmmm. Well, yes. I am feeling a little vicious.  You didn’t hear this from me. But I would be pretty nasty. I’d bite their ear off. And that would be only the beginning. And with that. You’ve convinced me. I’ll go in with you.” She giggled. She grabbed my arm and tugged me along after we got out of the car. It was dark out at that point at about ten after five.

And yes, as she went to the sushi area, I picked up some of the cider her and her sister enjoy for the holidays, and some of our favorite smoked mozzarella too and some pecans for when I make a fruited bread or a stollen later this week. I then saw little pouches of lavender for sale for under two dollars. I put one in our basket. We are then in line. And once again my discount I’m supposed to receive suddenly doesn’t work. I don’t grapple with the cashier. It worked last week and now, not. I figure I will write the company and hand it to them in person at the store. I say nothing. I pay the bill. We walk out and my youngest is carrying two bags. I thank her for wanting to do so.

We are soon at the car. And she tells me of one of her classmates who is now sick. Evidently the child went to a concert during the weekend. I remark, “Not good timing. That sucks.”  We chat about other things. We get home and we unload. Again, she picks up both bags. I am not used to this. Plus, she puts her backpack on to boot. I ask, “Hey, Isn’t that too much?” Just as I ask, “Do you want…me to…” She says, “I’m good.” Who knew?  So, I hustle to unlock the doors for her.

She gets settled with her sushi meal after washing up. I begin to pull out leftovers for myself. I just begin warming them up and pulling out the turnover dough to repress them and roll them out a fourth time in six hours. For I want more of a pastry fluff layer feeling in the pastries that I make. It’s my oldests’ first time for this particular dough and pastry I’ve made. And I kind of would like to impress her boyfriend too. I love feeding people.

No sooner does she finish her sushi and I hear, “Where’s my phone? I can’t find my phone.” From her. She gets our land line and calls the number. I see her begin to panic. “I’ll help.”  We look everywhere. I knew she had it in her pocket at the market. But never took it out once we were in the market. It had to be there. Or in their parking lot. I had her call the market to report it may be there. I go back out to the car and check again. I look up at the sky and say, “Yo! St. Anthony. I need your help man! Norm, you too! Like seriously. Com’on man.” I go inside and get my coat on again we check inside the car and under the car. Nothing. I’m praying.

I remark, “We are going there now. Shoes on.” I turn off the stove, say good-bye to our pets. We get in the car and drive. I am just so… And she is so beside herself. I remind her that she does a lot and I’m not mad at her at all. It is the season of stress for everyone. She wonders if someone lifted it out of her open jacket pocket. Something hadn’t even thought of. I say, “I don’t think that.”  But of course my mind then wanders in that direction. Yet, I decide to bring her back to an original conversation from earlier. I begin to query her about cellular structure and quarks. She thinks she knows… But alas… just before we get back to the market. She realizes with her seventeen-year-old mind, as smart as she is… I’m running circles around her on remarks on quarks.

We soon are parked right about where we had been parked, yet there are less cars. I put my facemask on. I tell her “Put your face mask on, go into the store. Tell them you’re the person that had just called about your phone. I’ll look out here.” I see a friendly face. One of the young men that works there. We always say ‘hi’ to each other. I tell him what happened and what type of phone and color. He nods. I thank him. I end up following my youngest into the store after I’ve searched the parking lot. Nothing.

I see her at the customer service counter waiting her turn. I start looking in all the areas I knew she was in. I actually get on the floor, just in case it was pushed under the sushi bar area or the line we were in waiting to pay. Nothing. I walk around checking. As I approach the customer service area where she is at, I see an old friend. We’ve known each other since 1989. He is actually some kind of manager there now. He gave up his two bagel shops years ago to work for them.  I said, “Hey Jeff!” He turns towards me. “Hey Jody.” I respond, “My daughter standing over there lost her phone, we think it’s here. Not sure though.”  Jeff replies, “I’ll keep an eye out for it.” I kind of felt a sense of relief.  Meanwhile the customer service person is taking the phone description down. And I say to our youngest, “Give her our name and phone  numbers.” I look at the lady behind the counter, “Okay?”  She replies, “Okay. Let me just get a piece of paper here. Hold on.” Soon paper and pen are delivered to my daughter. She fills it out with the pertinent information. We leave. I check again in the parking lot before we get in the car and drive back home.

Again, as we are ready to pull into our driveway. I creep to go slower as I pull in. I say, “What if it’s on silent mode and in the driveway? We better be careful.” She remarks, “Oh it may be on silent mode.  But I really need Dad’s iphone.” And this is when you remember how the kids and a few others thought it was weird you kept your deceased husband’s iphone now for over a year after his passing. Yes, $45.00 a month is indeed a blessing.  Although no one summoned up my excuses as legitimate. Like, “Maybe some friends will want to speak with me, and they don’t have my phone number.” Or, “Some may not know he died and I don’t want it too harsh. And then they find out in the distant future, and they knew me from a party of his or something.” Or, “I don’t have an Iphone and we get many family emails on there and sometimes I’m too lazy to check our family email on the big computer.”  I have bukoo excuses for keeping his old phone. And I can say it’s come in quite handy. Especially tonight.

Then my youngest speaks, “I’ll use Dad’s iphone to find my iphone.” I reply, “I wanted to pair them, but you and your sister were resistant. And your Dad a few years ago resisted too.“  I pause, “So, you can still pair them even when it’s not in your possession?”  She replies, “Well yeah.”  She’s chomping at the bit as I unlock the house. I race up the stairs with her to his phone and pump in the security passcode. It took her twenty minutes. Then she said, “It’s saying no location found.” Me, “Why?” She replies, “Either it’s terribly damaged or someone disabled it, when they took it.” I responded, “Can they get your personal stuff?”  She replies, “No. It would take much for them to do that.” She continues to keep trying. Then I suggest, “Let’s just backtrack upstairs and where you ate and everything. Because if it’s on silent mode, then it could be anywhere. And we wouldn’t know. Correct?” She nods in agreement.

Then as she has my husband’s phone in her hand by our front door. The iFinder begins to work. All of a sudden, it’s working.  We hear it through our front door.  She says, “Mom! My phone is on our property!” I hear this pinging sound. I reply, “That’s that noise?” She responds, “Yes.” As she opens the front door. The pinging gets super loud. And somehow, Waaahlaah! The phone is on the edge of the driveway and not run over. No damage. The phone was on silent.  It dropped out upon her taking the bags and her backpack out. When I asked if that wasn’t ‘…too much to handle.’ She is stunned we found it. I said, “You see I really didn’t think anyone pickpocketed you at the market. Although, you should zip up your jacket pocket, so it never falls out of your pockets that you never zip up but could. Your Dad always zipped up his pockets whether it was a wallet or a phone. He made certain to always do that.”

My youngest still is astonished.  We walk inside. She has both phones in her hand. We put it on locator, so now I can always help her find her phone with my husband’s old phone.   And as we did this, she smiled and said, “I asked God earlier today to take my phone away. I wanted to be free of it for a while. So, I lost it in Biology. Or so I thought I did. Then I found it after three periods passed in Ms. Dawson’s room. Then now. I guess God did take my phone away.” I replied, “I’m sure your Dad had something to do with it too.”  She responded, “No. It was God. Because I asked him to.”

I replied, “Well, You need a hug?”  She looked and said, “But you’re ready to eat.” I replied, “It’s okay. I just started.” We hugged. I said, “You know I love you and I am not disappointed at all in you. And what I know is that, you are terribly busy. And I have a ton of respect for that and you. Remember it’s a tough time of the year for most of us too. Including you.”  Then she went to do her homework.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


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