During our move in recent weeks, as items, bags, boxes and furniture were removed piece by piece, from one house to the other. I left a few choice pieces in full view, so they wouldn't get mislaid, misplaced or misused.
As someone who is in recent years quite forgetful. One who has been burgled of some prized items of jewellery. One who has also stupidly through my own fault lost other items. One who may have left their purse on a car roof and driven off littering the motorway with money, jewellery and photos. Lost forever. One has to be more careful. Doesn't one?
I try and keep special pieces of jewellery with me always or at least kept protectively hidden. I have irreplaceable and priceless items such as drawings and cards made by the children in infant school. All these and more would be lost if not coveted and stored well.
But I am at a loss what I should do next to protect my treasures and keepsakes, after the latest debacle!
Three special items were kept on plain view on our undressed mattress in house #1 during the move. This included a copy of The Family History, a manuscript my mother has written for us her children. This is MY copy and although I do have a digital copy it is valuable to me.
Another treasured item in the 'pile' on the bed was a personalised book, again written and illustrated by my mother. I cannot describe its worth. It is a one off. Written solely for me, about me. With love.
The third treasured item was an large envelope containing a coveted family document. Recently sent to me in trust by my father. I was honoured that he felt he could release this document to my trust and keeping, not to mention the Royal Mail in getting it to me. This document is essential to my application for my French passport. I postponed my application due to the house move. Without this document I could not apply. My father has had this 'Livre de Famille' since his 18th birthday. He is now 73 . I know it's significance.
We took our time moving. We retained both properties for a two week overlapping period to ease the stress and strains of the move. One of the last items I brought into house#2 was the pile of folders from our bed.
I have spent the last two days, taking everything out of the shed. Twice. I have emptied all the cupboards in the house. Twice. I have been standing on chairs. I have been on my knees and not in a good way. Looking for them. How could I have forgotten where I put them? Where did I squirrel them away, after I brought them into this house? How stupid! How ridiculous! I got every box, sack, drawer and folder and rifled through them. Twice. At least. I got hot and bothered. Not in a good way.
I decided I could not go down to my folks as planned next Wednesday, as I couldn't face my father. I could not, pretend if asked about it fib or lie. I could not. I would not.
What should I , could I, would I do, if and when I had to admit to myself it was indeed missing? How could I tell him. He hoards. He cherishes. He is sentimental. I am like him about certain possessions. Their history. Their story. Their relevance. I was filled with dread and self loathing at my stupidity. If only I had told someone where I had placed them for safe keeping.
By 6pm on Tuesday I was beginning to feel sick. I went upstairs. I sat on my bed. I wept. From somewhere I know not where. Perhaps St. Anthony himself. I may have mumbled a few words, dredged up from the dogma of my catholic convent school past. Perhaps. Into my mind came the thought to look again in the bedside table. I had already looked there twice. There the Manuscript and My Story were lying beneath the detritus of pens, pencils and list making paraphernalia. I ran downstairs. I expressed a moment of relief. But still no Livre de Famille.
My daughter helpfully asked, 'Have you looked in the Household folder, like I suggested yesterday?' I had not. I knew it wasn't big enough to hold the envelope. SoI thought I would look now as she was being helpful and I did not want to ignore the suggestion in front of her.
She was also right! There it was! I was shamefaced. I was saved. I called Mum and Dad. I would definitely be down on Wednesday evening.