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  • Writer's pictureBelinda Lane

The Lost and Found Department

July 31, 2020

I turned into my driveway exhausted, glad it was Friday evening. I knew once I got in I would hit the bed for the evening. I took a moment to stop before pulling in to the garage to observe the relaxing sunset. I know in my heart everything happens for a reason. We become caught up in the happening but never the reason.

I had arrived at the age of retirement. My work history started at age 16 through my high school work-study program with Blue Cross and Blue Shield. It had always been my intent to go to college, but by the 11th grade I thought college wasn’t in my future. Fortunately, despite my earlier thought it manifested and I graduated on the Dean’s List.

I don’t know what happened while watching the sunset. Not sure if I drifted into a daydream or fell into a much deeper sleep leading to a shockingly realistic dream. Suddenly I went down a brief hallway where I noticed a sign over a door that read “Lost and Found Department”. There were other doors with signs that read “Life Begins Here”, “Opportunity of a Lifetime” and “Take the Next Step”. Yet the door that kept my attention was the Lost and Found. For some reason they all spoke to my impending retirement. I also felt that what was behind the other doors appeared to have been more valuable because they offered promise.

Still, the Lost and Found door attracted me. Opening the door and walking in, I became dazed. The room was filled with television screens everywhere. An elderly gentleman with a long white beard walked over to me with a remote control and handed it to me. Smiling, he introduced himself as Father Time and welcomed me to the Lost and Found Department.

“I have been expecting you and worked to have everything in place sensing your arrival. To speak frankly, there were incidents where I saw losses in your life and I stood by the door waiting for you. Instead, you got up, brushed yourself off and pursued life as if nothing had happened. I noticed you rarely processed the occasion to consider the loss and why. You went on thoughtlessly.”

My mind drifted for a moment, until I heard him make a statement that brought me back to clarity, “Each episode took something out of you and those things are waiting here for you to reclaim them.”

“What do you mean it took something out of me”?

“Through the stages of your life you lost hope for yourself, your passion for life, and you could not stay committed to what you felt was for you.”

“No, that is not correct, I am committed to people, I worked hard on every job I ever had. I devoted myself to others, to support them in any way possible. People learned they could depend on me. I am loyal.” My words trailed off when I noticed his face.

Father Time with a stern look replied, “I am speaking to you, regarding you. Have you maintained your word to yourself? Are you loyal to yourself? How many promises have you broken to you? This room is to find and maybe reclaim what you surrendered. To figure out why, at this stage in your life are there still empty feelings within. Why else have you believed throughout your life that there has to be more to life than what you been getting? Take the remote control and start with this first video. I will wait for you at the last video over there.”

After making myself comfortable, I turned on the first video and I recognized myself in my early twenties. Signaling for Father Time I pointed out he had given me the wrong video to start with and handed him the remote. He explained this was the time where my losses started. “No I said”, justifying that my losses started before my twenties.

With his stern look, he handed me the remote back. “Most individuals think as you do, that their losses start early in life, and most feel this to be right. They never realize that in the early stages of life, many heard harsh and demeaning words. They held on to these as they continued into adulthood. Then there were others who decided not to define themselves by other’s remarks towards them.”

“Others coming out of psychological and physical abuse that creates strength to push forward and not look back. Turning their pain and suffering into a way of life they could have never imagined for themselves. So many people learned resilience, perseverance, how to live by faith from the things of their experiences. Their history has set many free, encouraging a multitude of people who are now successful.”

I continued giving thought to each video; I now understood what I had given up over the years. Detailing the common threads in my videos of when and how my losses occurred over each stage of life. To my surprise, each video concluded with the sign from the other doorways in the hallway… “Life Begins Here”, “Opportunity of a Lifetime” and “Take the Next Step”.

Walking over and handing Father Time the remote. He inquired what I had gained. With renewed strength, I looked him straight in his eyes and showed what I reclaimed of what I once lost. He smiled and congratulated me.

I found myself at once inside my house, not remembering in the now physical world of leaving the car and walking in. I went to my desk to document what had taken place. My last paragraph sealed everything required as I continued life.

  • My past doesn’t influence my future unless I let it

  • The only thing I needed to bring out my past is lessons that will lead me forward in life, not hold me back

  • No one can put a value on me or take value from me

  • My behavior will always show how I see myself

  • Most significantly, NEVER too late to have the life you want

The two gifts I found in the Lost and Found were my self-worth and self-confidence. The Lost and Found Department is still open and Father Time is waiting for you with your own personal remote control.

All Stories and Poetry is originally mine and has Copyrights!

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