My Ultimate List of Things I’ve Lost

I’ve lost a lot of things—jobs, friends, first love, money, jewelry. Objects and routines deemed so necessary and essential; the brief thought of not having it could break others.

  • Growing apart from a best friend in high school.
  • The one who first took my breath away.
  • My best friend to cancer.
  • The brass ring my grandfather made himself.

Then there are those other things I don’t really think about or want to think about: youth, time, dreams of becoming a famous singer, the white in my teeth, dark of my hair, and bounce in my step (also called aging). My hairstylist telling me she found a big patch of white, with two to three strands of hair. Then my daughter discovering the same whites while play-combing my hair, and crying because she “didn’t want Mami to get old.”

And along with age, there are also really bad losses worthy of recapping because the lessons learned, and the ones I thought were bad—but were indeed a blessing. Like the, “I must have lost my mind” moment when I started dating a guy in a shelter (even though he lied about where he lived and whereabouts, there were clues). Also, my dignity and pride were scratched with that one.

  • Losing my way around Austria, while there during my High School trip abroad, and finding my way back always by simply asking, “To Jakominiplatz!”
  • Losing a dad in my childhood, and getting to have my amazing stepfather instead, only to then have a relationship with my father again when he was in a better place.
  • My first, extremely awkward and neck-stifling kiss, where I choked and coughed inside the guy’s mouth.

But I think most important is the loss I don’t want to lose. What I hang on to for dear life, because I just know, losing it will quite frankly finish me—my memory.

  • When they first plopped my daughter on my chest—butt first.
  • Crying after seeing my son for the first time.
  • My mother.

Despite these losses, there were gains, and a lot of them. Probably way more than what I’ve mourned and lost. But I’ll leave that for another ultimate list.

What are some of the things you’ve lost? Is there a way—somehow—for you to find it again?

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