Lost and Found

This past month has been one of those to reflect upon.  So many stories of new things for people and so many stories for loss and letting go. This morning, the words “lost and found” keep rolling around in my head. It is not that pile of smelly socks, t-shirts and lunch boxes that use to gather in a big box in the corner of the front office at middle school. It is how life gives us this amazing opportunity to live just that – lost and found.

My New Year began with so much new. Our office had numerous changes of jobs and titles and all of a sudden, nothing felt the same. My job was the same. I drove to the same building every day. But, everything had changed.

As we adjust to changes and new chapters, it is often something that changes everything within us. Our comfort zone is altered. We are thrown out of our routine, our emotions feel out of balance. I am one to get quiet and start to observe where the new patterns will take us. What will become the safe place to speak up, or will it all pass and come back to the old ways of doing things?

Along the lines of change, this year has been filled with many around me experiencing loss. The loss of a loved one is still one of the most riveting ways to turn your world upside down. It is only after walking down that path of grief for years that I can slowly start saying that through every loss we do get to reach a new place of "found". Sometimes the loss is so great you cannot even hear such a sentence. I honor that, and just keep feeling whatever you are feeling. Walking through the pain is how we get to the other side. That other side of what you have found is what today has been bringing me.

There is something amazing about our lives when we can actually feel the beauty of healing and understanding. Yesterday I was invited to a wedding reception. The couple said their vows a week ago on a cruise with their families. They came back to Austin to celebrate and share their new marriage with those that they love. This is someone I work with, and it is an amazing thing when you are invited into someone’s personal life and realize that not only are you co-workers, but you are friends. That is where the “found” comes back to me. As I sat at the reception and looked around the room, I realized so many of these co-workers were people. Not just people that drive to the same building and sit at their computers, but what they had found in that process was actual friends, heart connections. So as we celebrated this couple and their new life together, I realized all of us in that room got to celebrate being friends. I guess this is simple, but a Saturday gathering with co-workers suddenly makes you realize you are together for different reasons. And today, I feel so honored to have found new friends.

Along the other chapters of lost and found, I have recently witnessed a dear friend search and find her birth mother. Never did I imagine this would have been such an emotional and beautiful experience to witness. So you take this story of loss. Loss of a connection at an early age. Loss of a genetic connection and loss of information. Then, you add 26 years of life and love from another family. And 2018 becomes the year that the "loss" becomes a "found". My sweet friend spent hours searching and researching. She found "search angels" that helped her track down third cousins, names and dates, and finally the "match". This came with quite a few misguided turns. With the fear of loss even when you had never found someone. And all along, this brought my friend closer to the well of gratitude. So thankful for the family she found as an infant. And still searching to find that missing piece of her story. With great courage and love, she landed on that person. First the birth grandmother, and then the precious woman that gave her life.  This story will continue to unfold.  But, this is a beautiful journey of "Lost and Found".

For whatever journey of loss, there is a chapter of found.  This theme repeats itself over and over, I begin to realize. I lost my precious son to addiction, and then we found him on the other side with a new understanding and mission in life. For some people, staying sober is a life goal. Until you understand that you are lost. When found – it brings the most amazing journey of healing to everyone. Hard work, and great healing.

A friend at work recently lost her mother. This loss has been agonizing and deep. She feels great appreciation for her life, and her family, and to be on this planet without her parents is a life changing reality. She wears a bracelet for her mother – holding her story on her wrist every day as she faces another day without her. Just as I was typing this story, she sent this picture. She said her 5 year old son woke up this morning and said, "Today I need some healing beads."

So that alone is the guts of this Lost and Found story. I lost the most precious thing when I lost my brother. I lost my childhood connection, I lost my favorite person to call and laugh with on the phone, I lost the most beautiful father to his amazing children. My heart aches at the photos when I see his gorgeous smile. I found these wooden beads. These knots. I am left with what I have found. And what I have found keeps finding more people. More hearts that are broken and trying to heal. Trying to find that next comfort zone. That new place to settle and call home. That new normal that feels so abnormal.

Maybe my words will be lost on you. Maybe my words will be found somewhere in your soul and this journey of lost and found will be something you begin to notice in your life.

I will continue to ponder how this works in our lives. How we keep seeking to find new. How we keep losing and feeling this pain and discomfort. How this is life. And who we love and reach out to include those that understand this. Hope today is a good one for you and you find something that helps you hold your loss.  May your Lost and Found begin to hold a new chapter in your life and heart. 

Peace on this Sunday.