The Lessons of Lost Luggage

I've posted this picture of Monsoon in my suitcase a couple of times now.  It hit me the other day that there is a correlation between Monsoon and this now misplaced piece of luggage.

At the end of April, Monsoon had what should have been the first part of a two part surgery to heal her of adrenal disease.  Mid-morning the vet called me at work to let me know that he had run into complications.  He only gave Monsoon a 50% chance of making it.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  She and I had been playing on the bedroom floor only a few hours earlier.  I was not ready for this. 

I grew up Catholic.  Believe me, I fought it tooth & nail.  For a child with ADD it was nearly impossible to sit through an hours long Mass.  I went to bed many a Sunday night without dinner.  In time I found faith on my own terms.  After receiving that call from the vet, I headed home, as I did not want my co-workers to see me crying.  I cried all the way home.  It has been years since I picked up my rosary beads.  In the past six weeks I have said the rosary twice.  The first was for Monsoon.  At one point in my life I had memorized which mystery to say on what day.  I struggled to remember but made it through.  I layed in bed staring at Monsoon's empty cage while praying and crying at the same time.  I heard something fall on the floor.  When I finished praying I saw that one of the dried roses I kept in a sconce on the wall had fallen to the floor.  I knew at that moment that my prayers were heard.


Being at home and all, I decided to make dinner for Ruben for a change.  I dried my face, pulled myself together, and headed out to the grocery store.  I could see monsoon clouds gathering at the eastern horizon which is usually indicative of a big storm.  It was only April and we don't see these type of clouds until mid-July or so.  I took this as another sign that Monsoon was going to be okay.  Monsoon did pull through.  The vet refers to her as his 'miracle baby.'

Recently I have spent much time bitching about my lost luggage to anyone that will listen.  I went back and forth in my mind on whether I should again pick up those rosary beads and ask for some divine help with this as there are many other matters that need more attention.  I did pick them up.  I struggled through the mysteries that I was suppose to recite before each decade of the rosary.  It was Monday so if I'm not mistaken, it was the Joyful Mysteries (I think).

As the week has moved along, and still no luggage to be had, I started to really think about things.  In the photo at the top are two things that I have prayed on.  One of course being much more important than the other.  I have allowed myself to become a complete bear when thinking about this luggage not being around.  I feel like a dork being the only one dressed up at work today when everyone else is in jeans.  I trust, however, that the luggage is just misplaced and it will make it's way back to me eventually.  When I think of Monsoon and how I almost lost her, losing a suitcase full of clothes doesn't seem so bad.  If I had to choose, the choice would be obvious.  When a life is lost, it doesn't come back.

In my late 20s I had a roommate in Boston who moved in with me after losing everything she owned, including two precious cats, in a fire.  Her room was right under mine and many nights I'd hear her crying through the floorboards.  There are horrible floods in Iowa right now.  Four boyscouts lost their lives in a tornado.  Oh, I could just go on and on.  Losing this luggage has really placed things into perspective.  Everything I had in that suitcase can be replaced.  Of course it is a nuisance and an inconvenience.  –But we made it home from vacation in one piece.  Monsoon survived major surgery.  Her vet told me later that her chances of surviving it were actually only 30%.  She beat those odds.

Things could have been so much worse in both situations I mention here. There is hope.  And faith is hope and trust in the unknown.  I will remain hopeful.

–But man, will I miss those brown ankle boots.   

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