#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. This is an ongoing battle with my favorite ring. While it may have been from Spencer Gifts and not look like much, it was the very first real silver ring my mom let me buy. I wore it everywhere for about four years, then one day it just vanished. Two years later it reappeared as I was spring cleaning my closets. Then it disappeared again about five months ago….!

    1. well i am so sorry you lost your ring but i all so lost a ds case i can’t find it. It has been missing for 4 months almost as long as your ring. I lost it in my house still have not found it i looked everywhere.

  2. I’ve been missing a flash drive that I used for my first two years of community college for about 3 years now. I know it must still be somewhere in the house but I just can’t find it. Hopefully, some day soon I can experience this high. :(

  3. Yeah – happened a few years ago. We were getting ready to go on vacation and couldn’t find our digital camera anywhere. Bought a new one. A year later, I pull out my old winter coat, and there in the pocket was my camera. Flash back to a night when the aurora was putting on a brilliant display, and we went to a dark (cold) spot to look at it, and I tried to take pictures. They didn’t come out, but having forgotton where the camera was, I got an awesome new one.

  4. This always happened to me with those Game Boy cartridges. It got worse when the Game Boy Advance came out and they made them smaller.

  5. Thanks Viki for opening my eyes to this post~wow Neil, another wondefully heart-felt written piece!!
    Recently read this beautiful quote on a daughter’s wall:
    “Imagine for a moment, everything in your life suddenly disappeared…
    and then it all returned.” Anonymous
    “Feel it in your bones” #340…it’s really something.
    I’ve lost my marbles a time or two, now I keep them in a preserve jar on the window cill in the kitchen…there is always hope:D

  6. I just remembered this was the absolute most amazing thing ever…
    *Shelley* and I had been to France with school. We bought matching simple but pretty silver bracelettes. When back in Canada, mine was lost in Richmond. I was especially sad after I lost my friend just 2 years later.
    Once in a while at a flea market, thrift shop; yard sale, etc. some would catch my eye but never quite the same and I wasn’t about to settle. Nor was I obsessed about this at all.
    I left Vancouver in 1981 and have moved alot.
    Christmas 2009, I was in a thrift shop in Richmond, went to pay for a gift and by the till, in the jewelry case there it was…33 years later…
    my bracelet; I was shaking, and I had to cry just a little.

    1. Now, I know this may be pushing it, but I just looked up at the actual date you wrote this Neil, and it’s November 2009. Wild and wonderfully AWESOME!

  7. I had that a couple of months ago, my mum got me a really gorgeous charm bracelet for my 21st and I got a new charm for it every birthday and Christmas since and this last Christmas I lost it after spending the day in my boyfriend’s parents house and I was so upset, I searched everywhere I could think of and finally 3 months later after I’d given up and was starting to save to replace it, I found it in the lining of the dress I’d worn at Christmas crumpled in the bottom of my wardrobe and it was just amazing!!

  8. I have lost my DS and I’ve looked everywhere for it. Its not turning up!

    I’ve tried those things that is above but Its not turning up!

    What shall I do>~

  9. Ugh, I wish I can find my sketchbook so bad… It’s been missing for about a month now and I need it back desperately. Whenever I don’t draw I get seriously depressed. Weird, I know, but true! How can I lose something I held at my side all the time? Plus, it was a big black hardcover sketchbook! I find it hard to think how I lost it! ='(

  10. :'( lost the necklace my grandmother gave to me a few years ago, I keep crying so hard, is it ever going to show up?

  11. I have lost my game case for my DS and I can’t find it anywhere!!! I know it has to be in the house but I don’t know where! I need it ’cause it has one of my Dad’s games in it. :,( :,o

  12. I just found an old picture of myself I thought I had lost. It was a one with my dad and going fishing.

  13. I recently lost my game, Skyrim for the Ps3. I looked Everywhere I would have put it.. I looking in my Game Case, on my TV stand, on my computer desk, EVERYWHERE. Even the Bathroom -_-” So suddenly when I least expected, I found it in my Laptop Case o>o I was SO happy! O<

  14. i hope i find my tamagotchi soon it’s been lost for so long and now i feel a sudden urge to play with it

  15. But,how do you find something when you do not even remember the many, complicated things you were doing at that time?

  16. That’s how it always seems to go. As soon as you stop looking, oh, there it is. Sometimes when its been a while and I find something, I forget that I was looking for it

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  18. I prayed to st. Anthony to help me find my brand new shiny-raquaza dragon type pokemon card (Truly geekish, I know) somehow, the very next day at school, it falls onto the floor next to me. WTH happened?!!?!?!? Still can’t tell what happened, but im glad I found it (It’s worth like 30 bucks) Now, I’ve lost all my ds games (really bad luck) ill pray to st Anthony, but doest anybody have any suggestions on how to keep the in a place that I can easily find them and my I-forgot-where-I-put-it-when-you-were-punished-dad can’t.
    BTW, What was on the mix tape? Rap? Some weird European thing? A cat meowing over and over again? (I know people that have tapes like that) but seriously, I need to know. TELL ME!!!

  19. i found my mp3 FINALLY after years of looking but i dont know were the charger is lol my life sucks :/

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  21. Eight years ago my baby cousin lost a stuffed rabbit at my house. A couple months ago, while moving a couch, guess what fell out from deep within its leathery depths? We thought we’d never see him again. We spent YEARS looking for that thing as children! Even though my cousins now nearly thirteen, he welcomed back that bunny with open arms :)

  22. It happens to me all the time now I am waiting for the day when hey there’s my 3DS that went missing 2 years ago

  23. that’s amazing story, but i’m looking for a book that i have lost in like November, and it’s the end of March. Do you have any clue what I should do? I have no idea where it could be.

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