Monday, August 4, 2014

Lost And Found (Reincarnated)

A few months ago, I was out running with John - well, to be exact, I was doing a slow-paced jog and he was (literally) running circles around me and zig-zagging from one side of the street to another in order to keep pace with me as we made our way up to London Fields. It was a blustery day and I had my running top on, with a half-zip, where I had threaded my earbuds through to avoid the annoying plonk, plonk, plonk as I jogged along. Early on, I tugged on the earbuds to get them through my top a bit better and I felt a distinct snap, which I just assumed was the cord dragging along the zipper.

I jogged on without a thought.

When I got home, sweaty and tired, I stripped off to jump into the shower and the silver chain I wore around my neck slithered onto the floor - broken and minus the small diamond solitaire that was once on it. I panicked and immediately searched through my clothes. I retraced my steps from the doorway, then - my eyes blurred with tears - spent about an hour and a half retracing our route with my head down. But it was really impossible: that diamond could have flown off anywhere. The leaves and rain didn't help much either.

Of all the important pieces of jewelry I've owned and lost (a pair of beautiful, baby pink pearl earrings from Japan that my parents purchased for me during our trip there when I was fourteen or my beloved Mount Holyoke signet ring, which I lost somewhere between my office and Pret-a-Manger on my way to an orchestra rehearsal one day), this was one that felt possibly the worst.

I never, ever, took off that diamond pendant (save for maybe 3 occasions during the nine years that I owned it) - not to shower, sleep, or swim. It was given to me by John on my birthday nearly nine years ago. I had boarded a flight to London from Boston when I was still a student at Mount Holyoke College, on my way to completing my senior year. It was a short weekend away: an impulsive purchase of tickets on his end to help cope with our mutual misery of being so far apart. I remember crying in a desperate, heaving sobs kind of way just hours before my departure that weekend. I had no idea if our relationship could be sustained. On the contrary, he promised me that we would grow old together and gave me the necklace, which came to symbolize - amongst many other things - the hardships we endured as a couple early on in our relationship along with the very, very happy memories we made together.

Now, I stopped believing in "good luck charms" a long time ago, but I felt a little superstitious about that necklace. On the occasions I was without it (which were few), I felt little subtle, but negative energies entering into my daily life. Of course, this was completely psychological, but I felt stronger wearing it around my neck - as if I had the strength of our togetherness to carry me through some difficult times.

When I lost the diamond that day, I cried. It's silly to place such an emphasis on a material possession, but the sentimental value that was attached was priceless.

Of course, John, in true John-fashion, responded by stroking my hair as I cried into his t-shirt and saying, "You did really well to keep it for nearly ten years. Don't worry about it. Things get lost. It'll make its way back to you again. You'll see."

For the next few weeks, I felt a little miserable with a nakedness around my neck that I wasn't used to. I was accustomed to the necklace dangling against my chin during downward dog in yoga class, or leaving an imprint on my collarbone where my violin had pressed into it during orchestra rehearsals. It felt strange to look into the mirror and not see it on me.

But time passed and I adjusted to not having it around my neck anymore. I wore big, bold costume jewelry or else a simple Monica Vinader pendant that John had gotten me for Christmas last year.

But last week had been a difficult one for me: missing my family and learning some bad news about a family member's health, I thought I was starting to cope with life's little curveballs when an incident at work turned my perspective on my career - and my future - upside down.

I just felt sad.

On Friday, John walked in the door with the gift bag above from Fraser Hart and handed it to me. "Don't get too excited," he warned. "I'm not sure if it's the right one." I had no idea what he was talking about. But as I unwrapped it, it slowly dawned on me that it was the necklace that I had lost - which had now been "found", albeit with a slightly different setting, a slightly longer chain (and "slightly better quality!" John added).

It was beautiful. It is beautiful. And I warned him, through tears, that it would be ruined pretty quickly with soap and chlorine scum, with perfume and hairspray and sweat - because I'm never taking it off (and I'm taping it to my neck when I run!).

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