Last week, I was sitting at my desk working and I received a text on my phone—Fraud Alert—Call us to verify recent purchases! Yikes! I called the number and was asked if I had made a purchase of $40 worth of fast food that morning. Me?—fast food in the morning?—not out of the question. But $40 was steep. No, that was not my purchase.
I put the security person on “speaker” and immediately started to hunt for my wallet and it wasn’t in my purse. Then, I tore out to the parking lot to check the car—not there. Next, I began to retrace my steps as I frantically canceled my credit and debit card. The only thing I could figure was that it fell out of my car at the convenience store that morning and someone picked it up.
In the big scheme of things, this event—losing my wallet—was just an annoyance. I was irritated because I didn’t have time to deal with it. My Thursday to-do list was full and left no room for the fun task (note the sarcasm) of replacing a credit card, a debit card, an insurance card and a driver’s license. However, on another level, I was sad. I hated that my wallet was gone.
I hated it because I bought that wallet on a trip with my daughter. Every time I got it out to pay for something—every single time—I thought of that trip and the great time we had—so many good memories. I hated to lose that wallet.
But, it wasn’t just the wallet. I remembered other things inside it that were now gone. Fourteen years ago, I lost a great friend—one of my best friends—in an accident. Since his memorial service, I kept a folded copy of the bulletin in a side pocket. I didn’t look at it every day, but when I went digging for something and happened on it, I was reminded of a great friend who I miss to this day.
There were other things: a high school picture of my daughter, a two-dollar bill that my dad had given me that I had tucked behind my driver’s license just in case. There was a small pocket cross and a quarter-sized piece with an angel on it that I kept with my change. These were small items that wouldn’t mean much to anyone else. Man, I hated to lose that wallet.
I know we cling to our things, our stuff—some of us cling more than others. In our materialistic culture, it’s easy to hold on to stuff (maybe hoard) for the wrong reasons. We know all our stuff can weigh us down and we need think about that and maybe let some of it go.
However, I’m convinced that sometimes we cling to things for the right reasons. Sometimes objects around our homes and offices, things we wear (jewelry or clothing) or even things in our wallets bring back happy times, sweet times and special people who remain in our hearts. I don’t know about you, but these sentimental bits and pieces bring me flashes of joy and gratitude in the midst of a regular old day. I really hated to lose that wallet.
Later in the morning I decided to go back to the convenience store and see if by chance the person chose to take my cards and leave the wallet. Maybe I would get lucky. When I was about to leave, the phone rang and the call was for me. My wallet, with all of the contents—minus all the money—had been dropped in a mailbox at the Colleyville Post Office. I got my wallet back—minus my dad’s 2-dollar bill, of course. But, that’s OK. I got back almost all of the things that were most important to me. And, I was grateful to the person who took my wallet for returning those mementos to me. My hope is that he or she kept one of my business cards. 🙂