Archive for ‘ADD’

March 14, 2011

The Art of Losing Things

New carpeting was installed the day before. Much of my downstairs living space has just been painted. Everywhere I look, chaos reigns. Loads of furniture, framed pictures, mirrors, curtain rods are piled up in my kitchen and family room.  

My wheels are spinning.

I can’t find a thing.

I can’t find what I’m supposed to do next.

I often lose things: my cell phone, garage door opener,  keys,  my yoga mat, credit card, my daughters’ registration forms. But this is worse. I feel lost. And with apologies to Elizabeth Bishop, it feels a disaster.

I close my eyes and I think about my Grandma, Antionette Rivers. Her husband walked out when my Mom was two, leaving her alone to raise three children. Tony didn’t have parents to help her. She was barely given alimony (and never on time).

Bearing the stigma of divorce and being handicapped, my Grandmother went to work full-time for a bank. No matter how difficult it must have been, she kept a sparkling clean house, cooked every meal and never missed Mass on Sunday. Before bed, she ironed each outfit my Aunt, Uncle and Mom would wear the next day.

Living in a less forgiving time, she did this without the support that I have as a single Mom. Aside from periodic longing for that other adult to walk in the door at the end of a long day, I live a charmed life. I work from home; teach and take yoga and Zumba classes; have frequent help on hand from parents, friends and my daughters’ Dad.

Yet I’m backed up on laundry, bills and taxes. Dinner time rolls around and I’m tempted to order out. 

Why do I struggle to do the things that my Grandmother did so beautifully with so little?

I look deeper. My Grandma prayed.

I had this cherished ritual with my Gram. Whenever I lost something, whether it was a makeup bag, my Sony Walkman or a twenty-dollar bill, I would call her, asking which Saint I should pray to (I could never remember). It was Saint Anthony, patron saint of lost things. She would offer a prayer and tell me to let it be. I did.

Without fail or fluster, the lost item would turn up. Then I’d call her back to share the good news.

Tony, Tony, turn around

Something’s lost and can’t be found.

Never mind the messy house, the unopened mail, the litany of unfinished tasks.

I sit in stillness for five minutes.

I let it be.

And in the quiet, it comes.

I find a little faith . . .  

That I may I be like her.

Everywhere I look, chaos reigns.
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