A GRACE FILLED JOURNEY • Letting Go Of The Things We Lost


Author Moïra Fowley-Doyle once wrote, “if you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.”

This fall, mom and I took Charley with us on a Christmas shopping adventure and after being a good helper all day, we let her pick a toy to take home with her. After carefully browsing all the selections, she chose an Anna doll from the movie Frozen. She was delighted that it sings a song from the movie, and played with it the whole drive home.

Upon arrival at home, Charley ran downstairs to greet her dad. But when she came to the table for dinner, she was heartbroken to find that one of the boots from her brand new Anna toy was missing.

Immediately, she burst into tears, and we went into search mode. Mom and dad searched their vehicle from top to bottom, and we searched the house and the front yard and the driveway. But absolutely no luck. 

Charley asked about the boot again after dinner, and again before she went to bed that night. I promised we would keep looking.

And we did. It suddenly became my mission to find this little boot so that I could fix it for Charley. I looked in the couch cushions, on the stairs. I took a flashlight to the driveway again. I was almost just as heartbroken as Charley that I couldn’t find it and make it right for her.

The next day, mom and dad were running some errands and they picked up a package with a variety of Barbie shoes, including a pair of black boots. I worried Charley would be upset they weren’t Anna’s boots, but instead, she was happy as a clam for Anna to have several pairs of new shoes to wear. Anna now sports some white high-top sneakers or sometimes some strappy evening shoes instead of her boots, and I often find Charley putting shoes on her other princess dolls, so they’re ready to go to the ball.

I spent a long time that night obsessed about finding something that was lost.

And I got to thinking about that. We have all lost a lot in 2020. Some of us lost high school graduations, school musicals, sporting events, trips to the movies, dining out at restaurants. 

Let’s face it. It’s been a long year, and no real end to the pandemic in the next few months.

I’m sure that the Thanksgiving holiday looked a lot different for many families in this area, ours included. And we all lost a chance to visit with family we don’t see very often.

But instead of obsessing about the things that we’ve lost, let’s focus on the things that we’ve gained. Sure, they’re different than the things that we lost, the things that we wanted. But it doesn’t mean they can’t be great.

Maybe this year you’ve gained more time with your immediate family. We have had a chance to work on some projects around the house, like painting the picnic table on our patio. We even decorated for Christmas early, and Charley loved every minute of it.

Technology is great for keeping in touch with family and friends. Sure, we would rather see them in person, but getting to FaceTime is often the next best thing. Charley loves to provide FaceTime concerts to Uncle Johnny. 

The holidays are likely to look a lot different this year from what we are used to. And we will all lose a lot. But instead of worrying about what we can’t have, let’s focus on what we do have and make this holiday season one we will never forget.


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