#633 Finding something you lost a long time ago after you already gave up looking for it

Keep them closeIt happened late last night.

Cruising down the highway, heading home from the airport, my friend Shiv absentmindedly rifled through my passenger side door full of old computer-printed directions, parking stubs, and cracked jewel cases.

“What’s this?”, she asked, popping open a flimsy case and pulling out a dusty, scratched up mix CD. “It just has the date marked on it with a Sharpie. Uh, let’s see, what happened on November 14, 2006?”

“No way!,” I said, glancing over my shoulder and seeing one of my favorite mixes ever which I thought I lost two years ago. My mind suddenly flashed back to late summer nights zooming up the highway to my parent’s place after long nights with lost loves.

But isn’t it always like that?

Bolted out of our heartsCome on, you know and I know it: finding something you lost long ago after you gave up looking for it is such a great high because you already lived through all the emotions:

• Step 1. The Alarm. This is when your sunglasses or bus pass first go missing. It hits you like a rubber mallet to the forehead when you first realize it’s gone. Poof, just like that, as if your digital watch or favorite pen grew legs and Usain Bolted out of town.

Step 2. The Search. Next you organize the neighbors and head into the dark, foggy night holding lanterns and pitchforks before linking elbows and combing the cornfields until dawn. The next few days are a blurry haze of sleepless nights as you lay on a blanket on the damp riverbed watching the police boats drag the bottom for clues.

Step 3. The Grieve. The trawler nets can’t locate your cell phone or favorite glittery lip gloss so you’re forced to face facts and come to grips with reality. It’s gone, long gone, gone like the wind, and now all that remain are long, rambly stories late at the bar and lonely nights sobbing into your pillow.

People, we’ve all been there.

After you’ve lost, searched, and come up empty, you move on. Time helps, distance helps, but the memories never disappear. You try downloading songs from the mix tape and piecing them back together or go out and buy a new digital camera with an empty memory card to replace the one you lost with a full one.

But it’s just never the same.

… until one day

… a long time later

… … … … … when you least expect it

… … … … … … … the thing you lost comes back!

Disposable camera, permanent memoriesYes, while unzipping the side pocket of your travel bag you suddenly spot the diamond earrings that went missing after your cousin’s wedding four years ago. While reaching into the bowels of your messy trunk looking for a flashlight, you suddenly tug on a sweatshirt sleeve that’s been buried under a set of golf clubs since the Spring. And after you slim down and toss on the sassy blazer you wore to prom, guess what’s hanging out in that inside pocket? Brother, it’s your crumpled tie or that wind-up disposable camera with half the film used up from the big night.

When this happens your eyes pop and your jaw drops because you can hardly believe you’re seeing your old friend’s face right in front of you again. Chills rocket up your spine, love sucker punches your chest, and big salty tears well in the corners of your eyes before streaming like hot rivers down your cheeks.

You laugh, sniffle, and shake your head before giving the person beside you a big hug and smiling up at the world. Clouds part, bugles blare, and everything fills up with the giant swelling sensation of


(There’s an update in the Book section)

Get your bling back

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

96 thoughts on “#633 Finding something you lost a long time ago after you already gave up looking for it

  1. Just tonight I had this same feeling when I found my long lost hard drive. You know – the one I put in a safe place….? Like a REALLY safe place. So safe I thought maybe I’d thrown it out, along with all the important info on it – the irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind and (ook!) not backed up sort…

    I feel


  2. What’s on the mix CD that you found?

    Mix CDs are so great. I don’t think I can handle it when people just load me their entire library into one thumb drive and expect me to comb through it. No, mixes are the best of the best, and it’s even better when someone makes it for you, because you know that they hand picked it in hopes that more interests will arise from that point on. I don’t think my music interests would have been the way they were if I have thousands of songs that I won’t listen to.

    I’m rambling… I still want to know what’s on that mix, though!

    1. Me too!!! I’m trying to find it but i can”t!! I really want to cry now, I always lose my favorite pens }:'( aaaggghhhhh

  3. just discovered this blog, so i don’t know if this is already listed, but….

    what about when you find a $20 bill in your coat/pants/hoodie/underwear pocket that you totally forgot about?

  4. Of course it is not so awesome when you find it when it is too late.

    My wife lost her wallet once and all her important cards and IDs. We hunted, searched, grieved, then had everything cancelled and reissued (at some expense).

    A few months later we moved. While I was lugging a big armload of coats down to the car, I noticed a strange lump in the bundle. There was the wallet.

    I wanted to mount the thing and hand it from a wall like a deer’s head.

  5. This just happened to me! I was throwing a house party a couple of months ago, and hid away my Ipod in a secret place so that nobody would find it. It just so happened that it was too secretive, and I couldn’t myself find it. Until last night!

  6. That has happened to me once or twice before….. Thought it would show itself one day and my karaoke machine still hasn’t. :cry: Has anyone seen it??? :-(

  7. This happened to me with a mix CD my best friend gave me back in high school. We both agreed it was the best mix CD ever and we listened to it over and over. Then, as time went on, neither of us could find the CD. I still have the case with all the songs, but I kept holding out, looking for the beautiful purple CD I knew and loved.
    Well, some time passed and the CD slipped my mind. Then one day, while getting a Spyro game for the PS1 out of my basement, I opened the case to make sure the game was in there and SURPRISE! The purple mix CD was staring me in the face! I hadn’t heard the songs in a year or two, neither of us had! That night, I ripped the songs onto my computer and sent them to my best friend and we both listened in nostalgia and smiles. :)

    Another time my other best friend and I found a tree in the woods decorated with Christmas ornaments. One of it’s inside branches held a small tube that said “Letters to Santa.” Just for fun, we decided to leave a note for “Santa,” not really expecting anything in return. I asked for a Teddy Ruxpin because I was made to throw mine out as a child when he broke. On Christmas day, my friend called me up and said she went to the forest and there were presents for us there! When I opened the box, a Teddy Ruxpin was inside. :) This generosity of a complete stranger will always fill me with happiness. And the Teddy Ruxpin even works, too! ;)

  8. This is a fantastic entry! I am totally stealing the line: “Usain Bolted out of town.”

    However, I’m a little creeped out by how accurately the top picture reflects the contents of my purse, right down to the Burt’s Bees lip balm, library book and rolled-up bag.

  9. My mom’s wedding rings were lost for over a year. She had given them up for lost when my dad was getting dressed for a friends wedding and found them in the pocket of his suit jacket. Tells you how much he wore it!

  10. That happens to me a lot of the time, because I love EVERYTHING. Recently, my favorite shirt was lost for a month, and it was soo annoying because I needed to wear it for something special, and I had to settle for some less-pretty thing. But anyways, yesterday, I was doing laundry and I found it hidden on the top of the washer machine! Also, my retainer, which cost 400 dollars, was lost for like a month and a half. I was freaking out becuase I would have to pay for it; and just the other day someone was cleaning the house and they found it in the bottom of a drawer, somebody moved it in my house!! I have so many moree, but I don’t feel like typing:))

  11. I lost my car keys, house keys, keys to my classroom, key to my bike lock, etc…

    Found them about an hour ago. Today’s post is perfect!

  12. When my children were tots, I had to call into work to say I was taking a sick day because I couldn’t find my car keys. Of course I looked everywhere. RRRrrrrr, I even had the children looking in every nook and craney. Finally, after calling off work, I plopped down on the couch and looked around the room. I notices that Easter basket grass was here and there and everywhere, so I thought to myself, I can’t go to work so let me get rid of all this grass….starting with this basket. So, I grabbed a hand full of grass from the basket. I couldn’t believe my eyes, there were my keys, I had to laugh out loud. That had to be the two year old. Now the children are grown, and I have no one to blame but me…it’s part of my daily chores, looking for something I’ve misplaced.

  13. I recently found an old box camera in a suitcase! It’s got to be five or more years old because I’ve had a digital at least that long. No idea what’s on it – truly a found treasure.

    Now if I can just find my other favorite pink sock. . .

  14. This happened to me a couple years ago with my favorite shirt. It managed to get wedged in a cranny behind my laundry bin and was lost all summer until I was moving a few things and found it. I had a grin on my face for the rest of the day! However, I think I’ve lost the same shirt again because it’s been a while since I saw it. :(

  15. Boy do I agree. I thought I lost a beautiful ring my father gave me when I was young. No matter where or for how long I searched I could never find it. I felt so horrible because it meant so much to me that he gave me something like that. Years later, and I’m talking YEARS, I was going through my clothes to donate and lo and behold, I found it in one of those small pockets in a pair of capris. I never wore those pants since the day I lost that ring. Guess cleaning out the old and donating to charity really does pay off. SOOO happy!

  16. When I got pregnant, my husband and I moved to a bigger place to accommodate the new addition. Before moving our belongings, we set aside a bunch of paper grocery bags with things to donate. When I unpacked in our new place, I discovered that all of our sterling silver from when we were babies was missing. I was devastated, and figured it was sitting on a shelf at Goodwill somewhere. When we moved again a year later, I found everything safe and sound in a box with some picture frames that I had never unpacked! I screamed with delight and called my husband to share the good news. :)

  17. I lost the rind my parents gave me on my “sweet 16” and was incredibly upset about it. A year and a half later, I pulled an old purse out from my closet to take to the beach, and on the way there I went to put my phone in the side pocket and, what’s this?!

    My ring! I was so excited. (:
    Since then though, the amethyst in the center fell out, sad. ahah.

  18. I lose/misplace things regularly and have developed an amazing technique for finding them. Say I’m looking for duct tape. After spending 15 minutes searching the house I finally say to myself, “Fine, I’ll just use masking tape,” and literally the next moment I glance somewhere and look directly at a roll of duct tape. It doesn’t work to pretend; I have to genuinely give up looking. But this has happened hundreds of times. I can even talk about it and be fully aware that it’s going to happen, but it doesn’t happen until I truly decide that I’m not going to find the thing I’m looking for. Then I turn around and there it is. How does that work?

    1. Soren Kiekegaard. You have infinitely resign yourself to the fact that it won’t happen. Yet at the same time, believe that, in virtue of the absurd, everything will be fine. It’s how he explains faith.

  19. I am currently wearing a ring I thought I lost when I moved back in 2003. My marriage ended, quickly and I packed and moved on as quickly as I could.

    I had owned this ring since my teens, and wore it everyday. Could not under stand where it went, and thought for a bit that the X had taken it.

    Last week I opened the old work pc bag I was using in 2003. And there, at the bottom of the bag, rolling around with old dead pens and keys that go I know not were, was my ring.

    It only made me happy for a few minutes, but it was something.

  20. i cant believe hoe true that is. once i bought gum before i went to see my girlfriend( you know to get rid of the bad breath), and then i lost it. i searched my pockets, but it jus wasnt there. when i i found it in the small pocket on to of the big pocket in my jeans( dont even know why those tiny pockets exist). boy was i glad

  21. found two hits of acid that belonged to my ex, found it about a year after we broke up and I was living in a different house with some friends. What a wonderful find!

  22. I know how the emptiness feels I lost my ds games for only a few months and I can’t find it I feel soooooooo bumbed out!!! I hate it I am so fustrated so I pray to Saint Anthony for help!

  23. Things we look for NEVER appear when we need it the most but once we stopped searching for it, there there are! :D

    It’s like the rule of the universe.


    I just reached down to pick up a piece of glitter on the dining room carpet and the glitter turned into……….my diamond earring!!!!!!!!

    I had completely given up over two months ago and had vacuumed that carpet many times!!!!

    1. OMG, YES….I have painfully learned that I should NEVER EVER throw out a single earring even if I am sure the one I’ve lost is gone forever. 9 times out of 10, I find the lost earring and reunite it with its twin. That is an awesome moment. Actually, it’s probably happened only 5 times. So that would be 4 times out of 5, n’est pa?

      1. That happened to me with a pair of earrings. I found a single earring in my summer home, and when I returned to my regular home three hours away from there, I found it’s twin in a drawer.

  25. The match of my favorite pair of fleece socks. I lost one, and searched everywhere – inside clothes, under clothes, etc. I put the matching one in a drawer and about four year later came up with the lost one – opened the drawer and they were a pair again! I never lost hope. Hope’s all we’ve got in life.

  26. that happened to me with the same desk i talked about on the secret compartment finding awesome-thing. I found my zippo lighter i was given for my birthday in one of the secret drawers and i was really happy. Unfortunately it was out of lighter fluid but that’s ok.

  27. You know what’s not awesome? Reading a post about how awesome it is finding things that you’d forgotten about losing and then remembering all the things you’d forgotten about losing and haven’t found yet… like my favourite pen… I miss that pen. Oh well, guess it’ll be that much sweeter if I do find it.

  28. I had lost a pocket multipurpose tool (one of those knife, scissors, file, etc) which was shiny red and came in handy all the time. When I was about to board a plain in Amsterdam, a customs clerk was checking my hand bag and found it, deep in one pocket. I smiled big at her find, but was immediately heart broken again as she announced (of course!) that I could not carry-on such an item and took it away from me. Sad ending :(

  29. This is one of the most awesome things ever! It usually involves losing a favorite pair of earrings. Once I lost a stone out of my favorite ring and my husband found it a week later when he was emptying a fridge pack of Diet Coke. Somehow the stone had fallen out and into the box when I was carrying groceries in. I was ecstatic and relieved when it was found. :D

  30. Awesome. I lost my favorite nightgown when my husband and I first got married like 9 months ago. This Easter, my husband did an egg hunt for me because I couldn’t make it to the traditional one with my family. As I was digging through the couch cushions for eggs (found one btw!), there was a my nightgown!! He hadn’t seen it when he was hiding the eggs either! I was more excited about that than the egg I found. =)

  31. This happened to me this morning.

    A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I went picture taking, and while we were getting out of the car, and organizing the camera equipment, one of the little black lint-free cloth protective bags that she keeps her telephoto lens in went missing.

    It wasn’t in the camera bag.
    It wasn’t in the crack of the seat.
    It wasn’t under the seat.
    It wasn’t in any of our pockets.
    It didn’t blow out and go under the car.

    It was RIGHT THERE 5 seconds ago and now it is vanished.

    This morning, I spotted it on the top of the back seat against the crack of the rear windshield blending in with the black seat belt spool.

    I haven’t told her I found it yet.

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