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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Have You Ever Lost Something of Value?

By: Celia Yeary
    "Valuable" is in the eye of the beholder and subject to interpretation. We've all lost something we considered valuable; however those were almost always something we could live without. In other words, losing a loved one in death shouldn't fall into this discussion, because at times the death of someone we loved can seem almost too much to bear.
     In the 1950s, my mother lost the beaters to her Kenmore electric mixer, the big kind that sits on a stand. She'd had the mixer for several years, and she used it almost every day. She had all three of us girls searching everywhere we could think of. One of us said, "You threw them in the trash by accident. That's the only explanation left." She would never, ever accept that. She'd say, "No, I would never do that." And even twenty years later, she'd wonder, "What happened to those beaters?"
     My husband and I--at separate times--have lost our matching wedding rings. I wrote an entire blog about that once. I remember how we felt, thinking we'd never find them, but we did. In retrospect, though, we could have lived without them. Our marriage wouldn't tarnish, nothing in our life would change, and we'd manage just fine. We might have even bought new rings if we hadn't found them.
     Last Christmas, my husband bought a beautiful Cross pen and pencil set for me. Really, this set is special, very beautiful, as well as practical. I keep them on top of my desk, to the left, at the base of my little blue lamp. One day I noticed the automatic pencil to the set was not there. I began to search. Did it fall into the nearby trashcan? Did it roll off the desk and under my dresser? Is it in a drawer? A pocket? I went through every single thing in the room to no avail. When had I used it last? Could I have taken it to the hall desk where I have two built-in bookshelves? Could it be anywhere in the desk? I consulted my husband. Did you borrow my pencil? Is it anywhere in your office, on your desk, in your closet?
     He and I searched the entire house, opening everything that could be opened. Bottom line, we scoured the house--and the vehicles--until we could not think of any other possible place to look.
I searched off and on for days. He told me he'd buy a whole new set for me.
     No, I said, I want this set—just like my mother wouldn't accept the fact those beaters were gone.
     But he began searching for another set on the internet anyway. When he found one he thought I'd like, and before he ordered the set, he sat down with me and said: "That pencil did not disappear into thin air. It's in this house somewhere. Now, think. What were you doing when you last used it?" I couldn't remember, of course, but I kept thinking about the hall desk. "I think I looked up a phone number, and the book is on the first bookshelf."
     He said, open it—see if you left it in there. Nope. No pencil. While we stood in the hallway where this little desk is built into the wall, he reached up and pulled down a hardback book, one I use often in research. He said, "Look." Sticking out at the top, between the pages, was about an inch of that mechanical pencil. Then I remembered having the book on my other desk, open, and using the pencil to take notes. I have a habit of laying a pen or pencil in the groove of the open book. He's much taller and saw it, but I couldn't unless I stood on tiptoes.
     Would you believe I cried? But really, would the loss of the pencil have changed my life? No.
Sometimes I think we waste too much time remembering and regretting something we've lost.
---A rejected manuscript.
---A friendship.
---A connection with a family member.
---An opportunity.
---An entire unproductive morning.
---A chance for success.
---A visit with someone before it's too late.
---An unfinished project.
---Our youth.
    I hope you and I will evaluate our lives, accept that which we cannot regain, clear our hearts and minds, and move on.
    But suppose we do mention someone we loved and believed had died…but he returns? What you believed was lost forever is now standing before you?
    In TEXAS PROMISE, Jo Cameron marries her childhood sweetheart Dalton King. Soon after the marriage, Dalton joins the Texas Rangers without consulting her at all. He leaves and after a long lonely year, she receives a startling letter from the Texas Rangers headquarters in Waco, Texas announcing his “probable” death in far West Texas.
    After a period of mourning and a family service to remember Dalton, Jo moves to Austin and begins a dress shop business.
    But Dalton returns, tarnished, broken and bitter, and filled with rage at his wife.
Jo's words:
    Her sister True said, "Oh, Jo, I wish… What's wrong?"
    Jo gasped at the envelope she'd picked up, stared, and turned pale. She held the letter in a trembling hand.
    "It's from the Headquarters of the Texas Rangers in Waco." She sat back, shaken, staring at the piece of mail. "I know what this is. I'm sure of it. Oh, True, I'm not ready." She held it to her breast for a moment, took a deep breath, and opened it.
    Dear Mrs. King:
I regret to inform you that upon a thorough search of the Chisos Mountains of West Texas, our investigative unit was unsuccessful at locating your husband, his body, or anyone who might have seen him. The entire force of the Texas Rangers of this great state extends condolences on the loss of your loved one. We also grieve for the loss of a brother in arms.
We advise you to apply for Widow's Benefits as soon as you wish.
Sincerely, Captain Louis Lancaster, Texas Ranger Headquarters, Waco, Texas
     Jo finished the letter, held it out to True, dropped her head in her arms on the table, and sobbed. Her shoulders shook with emotion while she cried her heart out; releasing all the sorrow she'd felt for more than a year. The sadness had begun three weeks after their beautiful wedding, when he had announced his departure.
***~~***~~Dalton's words:
Dalton King had landed in hell, but if he hadn't, the pain and horror couldn't be any worse. His head throbbed dully, fiercely, as if someone hammered railroad spikes through his skull, and the rest of his body didn't feel much better. The excruciating stabs and jolts kept him frozen, with no energy to moan or writhe. Surely, he would die.
But someone stood near in this place. Close, but where?
TEXAS PROMISE: The Camerons of Texas-Book II
Now through April 15—full length novel.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. I am so glad you found that pencil, Celia. My parents gave me a pen and pencil set engraved with my name when I graduated from high school. When I was in Washington, DC in college, I lost them--well not lost them actually, they were stolen. It just upset me so much. I also lost a pair of glasses I had just bought for $400 while I was voting. I went to the school and checked with the lost and found, but they had never been turned in. I've never paid that much for a pair of glasses since.
    This one is a bit weird. I lost a pair of earrings my husband had given me when we lived in Texas. They weren't expensive, but they had tremendous sentimental value to me. The last time I wore them was the night my mother died. I had been Christmas shopping with my nephew and my niece who was home from leave from the Army to attend my mother's funeral. A few days later, I had a dream about my mother. She told me in the dream that my earrings were in my coat pocket--the coat I was wearing the night she died. The next morning I got up, went to check the pockets in my coat and there they were. I cried, too for so many reasons. I put the earrings in a keepsake box and never wore them again. I just couldn't bear to lose them ever again.
    I read Texas Promise and loved it. The Camerons of Texas books are all such moving and great stories.
    This blog really took me back in time to the things I've lost, and the things I've found. It's like a miracle when you find something special you've lost and thought was gone for good.

    1. Sarah--your story about finding those earrings because of a dream you had of your mother is quite possible. It's difficult to explain, isn't it? I've not had any specific event like you describe, but see..I hear my mother's voice. I hate to tell anyone this because they'd think I was loony. I'm saying to confirm that those who are deceased very well might give us clues or answers to problems. For you, that was very real. The times I hear my mother plain as anything, is when I'm alone, and it's quiet, and usually involved in something intense. She simply says my name, "Celie Ann"--the way I was addressed my entire life. It always has a question at the end, as though she says, "Celie Ann?" It makes me stop and thing..what am I doing that might be wrong or need changing/
      Anyway, I believe your story about the earrings. And I thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I do love to see what YOU have to say.

  2. Wonderful blog, Celia. And I can relate to losing things. As often as my husband and I have moved, I've lost too many dear things for counting. And I'm also guilty of disposing of things and then wishing years later that I had kept them. Perhaps that is why I am developing into a real pack rat!
    Texas Promise is one of my favorite books that you have written. In fact, I love all of your Cameron Family books. I feel I know these people and I think there is no greater compliment to give an author than this.

    1. Linda..I can only imagine how much stuff you've lost with so many moves. Even though you do wish you had them, would you life really be any better.
      You don't know how much I appreciate your reading everything I've written....just as I've read everything you've written. Except..I did not finish Winner Take All or The Good News. I feared what I would learn..and you know what a great big scaredy cat I am!
      Thanks for the kind words about Texas Promise. It's one of my own personal favorites..so much happens in it!

  3. Great post Celia. And you're right sometimes losing something we deem important at the time, may not be as life shattering as we make it. :) In your book: What a shock that would be to have your husband, you thought dead, walk back into your life.

    1. Karen--yes, and an even greater shock if your husband thought dead accused you of trying to murder him!
      Thanks for coming by, and thanks doubly for everything you do for us at PBRJV. You are invaluable.

  4. my watch I had received for my 14th birthday was stolen out of the gym locker. saddened me at the time, but I learned to get over it.


    1. Denise--that's the best way to approach this..."just get over it."

  5. What a nice story about the Cross pencil. Sorry, but I suspect your mom did throw away her beaters. ☺ My mom did something similar. After she sold her house to move near me, my husband, brother, and I had gone to Lubbock to move her to Weatherford TX. When we got up the next morning we couldn't find Mother. She was out scouring the Dumpster to find the deed to her home--which she no longer owned and would never use. I told her where the paper was packed, but it was at the front of the U-Haul and we couldn't get to it without losing a day of packing the truck. I don't know why that was so important to her, but she was relieved when we unpacked at her new apartment and I produced it.

    1. Just goes to prove we don't really know what is ultimately important and what is not. But even I can identify with your mother...thinking about some object or paper or document, and cannot fine it! Oh, I feel like screaming until I find it, then I think...why the fuss over this simple item.
      Oh, I know Mother threw those beaters in the trash. I have do so, thrown something in the trash when I mean to place it in a drawer. It's easy to do when we're distracted by too many things. Thanks, Caroline, for reading my post.

  6. I enjoyed your post, Celia, and your reminder about keeping our priorities straight when it comes to what's important in our lives. My husband can lose just about anything--and has at one time or another. Years ago he was cleaning his office, throwing papers and such out, and as he went to empty the smaller trash can into the bigger one outside, he found something stuck to the very bottom. Upon closer inspection, it was his college diploma from the University of Southern California! He'll never live that one down!

    1. You need to watch your husband--no telling what he might throw away! Thanks so much for your comment. I have a husband who never throws anything away and it's all categorized and labeled!

  7. My wife and I lost our frog once.

    We had this fish tank and along with guppies we has a tiny frog in it. One night we had them in a bowl while cleaning the tank and eating pizza for supper. When it came time to put them back the little frog was missing, so it had obviously jumped out of the bowl. I searched everywhere around the floor. No frog. Then both of us looked at the mostly eaten pizza in the open box next to the bowl.

    "I thought that last piece was kinda...crunchy," she said.

    We never knew for certain if she ate frog pizza, but it never reappeared. At least in a form she recognized.

    1. Oh, Gerald...what a story! A good laugh to begin my day. Thanks for commenting.

  8. It never fails, I put something down and the wee folk will come along to move it. I think they do it for giggles just to see what I will do. I usually retrace my steps, but sometime that doesn't work. So I do this little thing. Where I hold on to the button of my blouse and recite. "St. Christopher, St. Christopher, do come round; something's lost that can't be found." Sometimes, it works. I loved reading parts of your story. This looks like a wonderful book.

    1. I understand how that works...putting something down and then it seems to disappear. And thanks so much for your kind words!

  9. As far back as I can remember my mother had a habit of throwing out or giving away our things while we were at school - toys, clothes, bicycles, pets, etc... We learned not to get attached to anything. Needless to say, I never let her babysit my kids.

  10. How odd. I'm so attached to my own things, I'd be very upset about that. I don't blame you one bit for never letting her baby sit...thanks for the comment!


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