Gone Baby Gone

I have joined a fantastic group of ladies, who are involved in a weekly blog project. Every Thursday, we will dazzle you with our insight on various topics. And each week, we take turns coming up with the idea for the blog topic. Please check out their blogs as well, listed under my Blogroll section. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): An experiment in knitting, writing- and life

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Mom Of Many (Susanna): One Mom’s perspective on life, raising kids, knitting and other unrelated topics.

My choice for this week was: What is one of the biggest regrets in your life?

I’ve been writing since I was six years old. My first works were roughly 7 lines of poetry. They were silly little stories, where I’d try my damndest to rhyme words, and still have some sense of purpose, of meaning. If I can recall, one untitled piece went something like this:

“You can call me Bart/Tart/Heart/But you cannot call me Fart, ok?”

Hey, I never said they were GOOD.

My grandparents held onto everything I’d written, in a closet off the dining area. This closet was my art closet. Paper, crayons, markers, and anything else you could imagine was housed in there, along with some of Grandpa’s shirts and pants (Grandma had a LOT of clothes, and took up a LOT of closet space).

As the years went on, the closet filled up. I lived with my grandparents off and on while growing up, so anything I’d written through elementary school, middle school, and even high school went into that closet. I held onto anything I’d written, as though they were the finest literary works I’d ever read, and they were worth gold to me.

I moved to Arizona, and couldn’t part with my writing, and so they went with me. I bought a filing box, one of the ones you can get hanging file folders for, and was easy to carry around. The more I wrote, the more went into this box. I had everything organized, by year. Yes, I was completely obsessed. But most writers are.

Kevin and I worked together years ago, in Arizona. One day, we got to talking about writing. He admitted he had a blog. I told him about my filing box, and he expressed interest in reading what I’d written. I decided to bring my box to work the next day, to show him. I remember nervously watching him as he absorbed so many years of my life, all categorized into this one box. At that time, we were merely friends. He was married. I was engaged to be married. But his opinion meant so much to me. He didn’t disappoint. He liked what he had seen, and I remember feeling so good that day, so special.

I ended up moving from Arizona to Texas. I left my box at work. I can’t believe I forgot about it, but I did. It was such a crazy time for me. Moving, just getting married, everything was up in the air, I had no place to live after arriving in Texas. The box wasn’t on my mind. And it became a very faint memory for a long time after. So long after, that by the time I was jolted awake one night with the realization that I left a big part of me back in Arizona, I had already divorced my husband and was living in my own apartment. My ex had no clue as to where the box had ended up. I had hoped and prayed that somehow, he had it with him, that maybe he had grabbed it, but he couldn’t find it. I knew I didn’t have it.

I remembered that I had left it at my previous job, and Kevin went looking for me, when he was still with the company. He painstakingly went looking through a storage and couldn’t find it. He said he did find a file box, but it was EMPTY. Most likely, someone had seen it, and threw out the contents. They had no idea how important any of that was to me, and most likely didn’t care. I started to conjure up images of it being some conspiracy of sorts (my ex’s mother worked for that company; how happy she must have been to dump out my life’s work into a trash can, laughing maniacally the whole time). It pains me to even think about all that work, gone. Just like that. Such a big part of my childhood, my teenage years, and I can’t ever get it back. I had never thought to scan them and save them onto a computer.

It will forever be one of my biggest regrets in life.


2 thoughts on “Gone Baby Gone”

  1. Wow. Sorry you lost all that. I know how you feel. I lost anything that I didn’t save for myself after I wrote it. I toss out lots of papers and I’m sure some of my writing got into the trash pile. I also lost all the letters from pen pals. It’s hard to hold on to our youth sometimes, which is probably why I hoard almost everything the kids make from school and camp.

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