I've been looking for my purse all morning. I just realized an hour ago that I left it at a Panda Express a state away. It's my favorite purse, a purse from Anthropologie that my mom bought me during Lucy's 8-hour surgery stint in Cincinnati. Surgery was over, we were relieved and naturally, we went shopping. My mom saw me ogling a purse with a pricetag I would never spend on myself, and she grabbed it and took it to the register.
I loved that purse.
In that purse as well were my favorite earrings given me by my friend Alyssa, simple gold hoops. Lost too was the coolest bracelet from my friend Alisa, the $200 camera I bought just 6 months ago, and the custom camera case my friend Melanie had given me. Add to that the check from my grandma for travelling expensies, and I am one sad girl.
Sadder still was the reaction I got from Panda Express when I called, the manager quickly saying there was no purse found and hanging up on me. It made me angry.
The day I lost the purse I got to visit with my dear aunt Mary. She's the woman who definitely helped carried me through my pregnancy with Lucy with her endless encouragement. She's the one who, while the South Dakota breeze blew over the ridge in front of her house, whispered me her fears as we sat and wept in white Adirondack chairs. She has just been diagnosed with cancer.
A boy drove by on a bike, a woman walked her dog right on past. Did they know the gravity of the conversation? Did they know the heartache entrenched within the walls of this sacred conversation?
The boy was thinking of dinner; hoping for a McDonald's meal with fries. THe woman was replaying a conversation she'd had with her husband in which she pointed out his most annoying flaws. She was relieved she'd let him have it; that oughtta teach him.
I've been obsessing over my purse and the jerk who took it. What right? Not fair! Those were my things. my memories. So much for the MAC lip gloss I mortgaged my house for or the darling "cartwheel in a field" photos of Lucy and Asher I was hoping to make a collage of in the entry way.
And so much for control.
I've been thinking alot about my aunt and her fortitude against an unseen foe. I've been thinking about what it means to be in the world and not of it, a quality I see shining so brightly in her...even before this devastating diagnosis.
That priceless conversation in those Adirondack chairs ripped open notions preconceived, it left me speechless as she posted questions I could not find breath to answer.
As I get on Craigslist to scout out $40 cameras and try to renew my slightly shattered faith in the good of humanity, I think of which $7 Target clearance purse hanging in my closet will be my new one. And I ask myself, and I ask you:
Where is your treasure? Your house? Car? Figure? Health? Spouse? Bank balance? Children?
You're a fool if you believe that any one of them could not be ripped from your grasp in the blink of an eye. You're a fool not to realize that the sign of true maturity is to recognize this truth, accept it, and act on it.
How will this truth, this admonition to hold loosely to the things of this earth, change how you live? Do you have an answer?
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, rather store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."
What'll it be?