Thursday, February 14, 2008

On Loss


On the crowded metro this morning, there was a lost black glove that sat beside a pole. This older gentleman with a Southern accent and a leather coat kept asking women if it belonged to them, including me, and everyone said no. (As an aside, I imagined him to be a Texan business man going to a meeting with the oil lobby...but then, he probably wouldn't be taking public transit. And, anyway, he didn't have a 10 gallon hat or yellow suit.)

This reminded me of two Fridays ago when I felt loss quite acutely. My Aunt Shirle died that morning of cancer after a long struggle with the disease. Death of a family member that you don't see all that often but who has always been a fixture in your life is very surreal. In some ways, truly feeling the loss is delayed and not fully understood...until you're at the next family function and he or she is not there.

That same morning, I dropped my favorite winter hat--a black fleece tight fitting cap from Talbots that I'd had for about 8 years--on the Orange Line metro. I was in a hurry to get off, and it was in my lap, and it dropped. I realized it as I went up the escalator and my head became cold. I truly felt that was immediate and real. Not to compare to a death, but in some ways, having that loss that was in my face, and made me cold, made all of the loss more real. Knowing you will never have someone or something back is hard to deal with, just on a different scale.

In the meantime, I have filed a "missing hat" report (they call it a loss and found report) to metro, adding "it's my favorite," as if the person cares. Unlike with my black hat, I can feel the cold air whipping through the hat I dug out of my closet to "replace" my favorite. And, I find myself, as I plan my new sewing project, wanting to ask Shirle advice. I guess it has to be enough to know she'll be looking over my shoulder from a better place. Slowly, you come to realize that it's really real.

As I was approaching my stop this morning, a woman jutted out of her seat and lunged toward the glove. Her companion said "Good thing you found that...You definitely would've missed that today!" as she united the prodigal glove back with the other. A little bit of me smiled inside.

Photo by Jeffy on Mad Times. Lots of lost glove photos, which I love, and kitties too, if you're so inclined. 


  1. I haven't stopped by in a few days...I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. My husband's uncle died rather suddenly of cancer a few years ago and it was pretty devastating.
    I lost my favorite hat on a subway train (I think) several years ago. It didn't even occur to me to submit a missing item report. I like to imagine that some needy person ended up with it and looked somehow fashionable in it. It was one of my handknits, and I'd used some old yarn that had been my grandmother's.
    As for lost mittens, I have this picture to share.

  3. Terri--Thanks! Cancer really is a devastating disease.
    About the hat, my mom said "Maybe a homeless person ended up with it." I said "Well, I'll trade them for one of my least favorite hats!" :)


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