Dear Ms. Cliché,
I never thought getting older would be like this. The aches and pains I can deal with and because I can’t change the past, and can’t predict the future, I have no regrets. Though I am grateful for my long marriage and wonderful family, something is missing. I’m not sure what it is and I don’t know where to find it. Can you help me?
Dear Searching Senior,
Years ago, my husband burst through the kitchen door proclaiming that life had gone to hell in a tool box because he had lost his wallet. My husband is great at building things but for him to find anything smaller than a jigsaw is like a bloodhound with a sinus infection.
“When was the last time you actually used your wallet?” I asked him.
“There’s no money in it, I haven’t used it in a while,” he answered.
“Did you put your wallet in your pocket when you left for work?” I asked. He looked at me like I was his mother.
Snide man said, “I never drive without my driver’s license, AAA card, Home Depot charge and a picture of our wonderful family.”
The picture was a dorky Sears Studio portrait, the AAA card had expired and I didn’t know we had a Home Depot charge.
I searched the couches, laundry basket and dog bed. He went through his truck twice, which he uses for business and drives every day. No wallet.
My husband got a new driver’s license, we canceled the charge card and I gave him an updated dorkier photo. I filled his shiny new wallet with all the new necessaries, plus a crisp one dollar bill for good luck.
Three weeks later my husband burst through the kitchen door.
“You’re not going to believe this but I found my wallet,” he said.
In his hand, the old lump of leather, filled with all the bits and pieces of his life which he had carried with him for years.”
“Where did you find it?”
“In the truck.”
“But you searched the truck,” I said. “Did it fall out of your pocket and get kicked under the seat, or lost among all the tools or buried under all the empty to-go cups?”
“It was on the dashboard right in front of me,” he said. “I must have taken it out of my back pocket because it was uncomfortable.”
Rare for me, I was speechless.
“Well, it is the same color of the dash.” he said.
So dear Searching Senior, though you know something is missing, and you’re not sure what it is, or where to find it, just remember, no matter how hard we look for what we believe is missing in our lives, sometimes that which we seek is right in front of us all the time.
I am as sure of that as I am that my husband still can’t find a thing.
Carolynn Pianta says you can contact Ms. Cliché at firstname.lastname@example.org