Perhaps The Greatest Loss For Many Is The Failure To Obtain What Could Have Been


Late Thursday afternoon I went out to move my car. I had parked it the day before next to the front yard fence, but I wanted to move it onto the concrete pad in front of our garage. I generally leave for work by 6:00 a.m. and it works best when my car is conveniently located and I can hurriedly throw my computer and briefcase in the back. At any rate, I got in my car and pressed the start button. Nothing happened. What was that about? Was the battery dead? I had that experience once before. I tried again, nothing happened. My first thought was the battery, but could it be something else?

Was it the key? Did I have the key with me? (Actually, I’m calling it a key, but it isn’t really a key. For lack of a better term, I’ll refer to it as the start button activator. It is on my key ring). I checked my left front pocket. I am a creature of habit. I always put my keys in my left pocket. I had the start button activator to the Honorary General’s car, but the one to my car wasn’t there. I went back into the house, walked to our bedroom and opened the top drawer of my dresser. If my keys weren’t in my left pocket, they had to be there. I always keep the keys in the top drawer of my dresser. The keys weren’t there.

Sometimes I get in a rush. I thought to myself, “I probably left the keys on the kitchen counter”. I always get into trouble when Treva discovers that I’ve done that, but stranger things have happened. Besides that, I’ve been in trouble with the Honorary General before. I looked in the kitchen. My keys weren’t on the kitchen counter.

Okay, the keys had to be in my office. I didn’t find them there either. For the next thirty minutes, I went from place to place to place where I had already looked to see if I could find my keys. How stupid is that? Of course, the keys weren’t to be found in any of those places.

Finally in desperation, I asked the Honorary General, “Have you seen my keys?” I already knew the response. It was response #596 that begins with: “If you’d put you things were they belong instead of dropping them at the first opportune moment, you’d know where they are.” Short answer – she didn’t know where my keys were.

I decided not to fret. I’d find them later. It was bedtime before I next remembered that I still needed my keys. It was stupid, but I revisited all the places I had already been. Guess what? My keys were lost.

Fortunately, I had the other start button activator for my car in the top drawer of the kitchen cabinet. I could at least get to work. I just had no way to get in the building.

As I attempted to drift off to sleep, I tried to remember when I last saw my keys. The memory left me fully awake. I had used my post office key that afternoon when we stopped to check our mail. In addition to our mail, inside the post office box was a key to retrieve a package from a locked space and a yellow call card, to pick up another package.

The boxes were large. I remembered attempting to balance the mail, my keys, and the boxes. Did I leave my keys on the counter at the post office in the process of retrieving the second box? That had to be it, but would I ever see those keys again? That question laid heavily on my mind. How could I have been so careless?

You have no idea how relieved I was the next morning at 6:15 when I pressed the doorbell at the call window at the post office and they quickly retrieved my keys. It was as though a weight had been lifted. How lucky could I be?

The last time I had contacted “lost and found” for a misplaced item was about two years ago. I had left a fairly expensive pair of new sunglasses in a rental car in North Carolina. Of course, we were back in Austin before I remembered not having them. Apparently people leave items in rental cars all the time. At least it seemed so. There was a special designated number to call for “lost and found” information. Trust me, I was dangerously close to forgetting I had even lost my glasses by the time someone from the number returned my telephone call(s). It took the space of about ten days before I finally got the confirmation that my sunshades had not been found.

Out of curiosity, I did a Google search for “Lost and Found” and ran across the lyrics of a song I’d never heard before. The song is entitled “Lost and Found” written by Ryan Tedder, Dan Muckala, Jess Cates, Leona Louise Lewis and Lindy Robbins. The lyrics of the song capture a loss (imaginary or real) that makes a missing ring of keys or lost sunglasses seem insignificant.

Staring at tears on the pages

Of letters that I never could write

I know love isn’t painless but it’s worth the risk it’s worth the


Playing it over and over I wish that I could turn back time

Baby we’re wrong but we could be right

Why do we say things we can’t take back and why do we


What we never had both of us fell to the ground and love

was so lost

It couldn’t be found what would it take to forget who’s


I’m tired of crying at the sound of your name

Why don’t we turn this around love ain’t the enemy don’t

you wanna be lost then found

Lost then found…Lost then found…

Love ain’t the enemy we could be lost then found…”

Perhaps the greatest loss for many is the failure to obtain what could have been.

All My Best!



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