Monday, April 16, 2012


 My mother-in-love had a theory which I've found to be true. Not only do people take vacations, but so do things. You, know, those items that go missing and, after a period of time, you discover in the place you’ve searched several times before.

Recently we went on a long trip and, against my usual practice, I took along some jewelry. Among the items was my mother-in-love’s gold cross. It’s one of my most precious pieces, not for its financial value, but for its meaning to me since I’m the only one in the family who remembers why it was so important to her.

Mother (she was ‘Mother’ and my own was ‘Mom'—I truly had two mothers) was a pampered only child. Her mother died fairly young, which made her even more of a ‘daddy’s girl’ than she'd been before. And that was always a close relationship. When her dad died of cancer at seventy-three, she was heartbroken.

One day, while cleaning out his safety deposit box, she found a lovely gold cross with a diamond at the center attached to a watch fob. She brought it home and invited me over to see it.

She told me, “It’s almost like Daddy left this for me to find.”

I had just gotten some of her family pictures framed for a photo wall. The minute I saw the cross, I took her to the wall and pointed to the one of her as a baby with her parents. In that picture, she is clearly wearing the same cross.

Of course we both cried.

“I’ll bet Daddy bought it for me and then put it away until I was old enough to wear it. So it really was a last gift from him.”

On the day she died, Dad asked me if there was anything of Mother’s I’d like to have. Of course I answered, “Her cross.”

He went straight to her room and brought it out.

“Oh, Dad,” I said with the tears starting afresh. “I don’t need to take this right now.”

His eyes shone when he wrapped his hand around mine holding the special piece of jewelry. “She knew you loved it, and I’m sure she’d want you to have it. I’m afraid it might get mislaid if it stays here.”

Whenever I wear it, I tell Larry, “I’m wearing your mother today.” And I feel her presence around me.

Since we were going to be visiting our niece and her pastor husband, and since we’d be gone for several Sundays, I took the cross with me on the trip.

On Easter Sunday, I looked for it to wear, only to discover that it hadn’t been put back in its usual place. So I checked all my drawers, all the suitcases, in short, everywhere I might have stashed it. No cross. And none of the other pieces I’d taken were anywhere to be found.

I wasn’t worried that I might have lost it because I’d worn it the week before and was sure it had come home. But after returning from church, I went through everything again. Still no luck.

When these things happen, I always remember Mother’s vacation theory. It also includes that those things that take trips return when they’re ready.

This morning I guess the vacation was finally over because I made one more thorough search of the suitcases. And there were the little bags with my jewelry, right where I’d already checked several times.

Do your possessions ever take vacations? This beats every other theory I’ve heard for what happens to them.


  1. That's as good a theory as any. Mostly I blame on missing things to the fact that I probably put them someplace to be safe--a place I can no longer remember.

    1. My pearl earrings took another vacation last week. Fortunately it returned the same day.
      One of them took a long one a couple of years ago. I thought it had left for good, but when we replaced the bedroom carpet last year, it turned up. I have no idea where it had been hiding since I searched under and around all the furniture...