Lost and Found…

Luke’s gospel is being read at church and recently we’ve listened to the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep (Luke 15: 1-10)

and the lost son, better known as The Prodigal (Luke 15: 11-32).

All of them rejoice over the finding and returning of these lost.

I’m moping over losses at the moment (too much time on my hands…).

I’m sighing over the boxes in the attic labelled,

“Important Stuff

“School 1993

“Show Shirts

“Malia’s Secret Hiding Place.”

that belong to the children who are no longer around to giggle their way through them.

My heart is aching when I

enter empty rooms that remain just the way I left them,

vacuum carpets without first having to stoop to pick up pencils dropped and left forgotten,

dust surfaces clear of half done puzzles,

take stock of the bathroom cupboard only to find toilet paper alongside bars of soap still untouched,

gaze at photos on the wall that peel back the years and make me tear up and smile.


I’m gutted by the sinking feelings that leave no casualties when I awaken depressed for no apparent reason.

My doctor years ago said,

“If you feel weepy call and I’ll prescribe you something.”

I inwardly shrugged, I knew those kinds of pills, they make me feel blah.

Better to go outside and do a little gardening,


Gardening in the rain

to search my soul and face the truth.

I’m losing my children.

They aren’t the same as they were.

Some of what they learned at the knee seems to have been lost to other influencers in their lives,

at least from where I’m standing looking at myself in the mirror longing for those Kodak-Moments that are no longer there.


Many years ago I was at the theatre with my brother and parents.  Just the four of us, I was on the verge of marriage and don’t remember what we were seeing.

During intermission Mummy produced the inevitable giant bar of Cadbury chocolate and proceeded to break it into chunks and distribute it along the row.

I heard her whisper to my father,

“We’ve lost her…”

I don’t know what I’d done to elicit the remark but it struck a chord.

I didn’t feel lost.

In fact I felt pretty confident as my new independence dawned.


A new dawn

I’d passed through the know-it-all teenage years and was enjoying a season of absolute conviction.

I was all of 21 and getting married any day.

And now, decades later I’m experiencing that same impression expressed by my Mum.

“Hey Mum,” I want to say, “I know exactly how you feel!” wishing desperately that she was still around to counsel me.

“I’m happy when you’re happy,” I hear her say.

Is that it?

No special ploys to bring them back?

I’m the great finder,

I want to kill the fattened calf

and throw a feast to end all feasts.


Abandoned nest; lost Mom

I remained lost to them for the rest of their lives.

“We don’t want to intrude…” they’d say when they never called or wrote.

I ran off to an Island for five years,

then to America with my Blue-Eyed Cowboy.

I didn’t stick around the family home, I tried to shed their influences, so why would I expect anything different from my children?

Because we homeschooled?

Surely that counts for something?

As I reminded my listeners numerous times in the five years I presented my weekly radio show, The Sociable Homeschooler,

“Just because we homeschool doesn’t make us immune to the universal growing pains and challenges every parent experiences.”

Still, my heart’s not a little surprised that my ideas appear to have been lifted, like unwanted blotches on a piece of fabric, from their characters.

“Those are our ideas,” Hubs gently reminds me, “they’re finding their own…”

“And possibly we’ll find that their ideas are just another facet of ours,” I finish trying to be optimistic.


A mixed harvest

My parents didn’t really leave me any pointers on how to stay connected with lost children.

In my outdoor soul searching I’ve decided that nothing changes my love for them,

I need to search for ways to stay close.

“We’ve lost her,” my mother may have said,

and today I would add,

“We need to find ways to bring her back.”

There’s nothing I can do about that now but what I can do is re-discover my children and search for remnants of my old teachings tucked in the folds of their new ideas and walk back home with them to the feast,

hand in hand.




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2020-08-24 18:30:46 Reply

I know just how you feel. Thanks God for you!

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