Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lost Wallet

          My husband lost his wallet today.  This was a heart-racing, sweat-inducing  event, as we are in upstate New York visiting my parents.  No wallet means no license, which means no ID, which means no plane ride home, especially in light of the fact that my husband is a foreign national.  We had been at the playground playing with my seven-year old niece, when the wallet must have fallen out of his pocket.  When we got home again, my husband noticed the wallet was gone.  
          My husband and I both panicked, searching the playground for the wallet.  Another family - the mother a friendly brunette with a sympathetic smile, her children firmly in the awkward phase of adolescence - helped us search, wandering the playground and nearby fields looking for the lost wallet.  After a while we admitted defeat and headed home again.  When we got home, my brother told me about the time his briefcase was stolen and later found in the dumpster.  He offered to go back with us to search again.  Still no wallet.  Once again, we gave up, going home for my mother’s lasagna.  
          Before the meal, my father prayed, asking to find Badri’s wallet again.  At one point in time, my back would have stiffened at this prayer.  But I am trying to reconcile my lack of beliefs with my family’s belief in Mormonism, so I reminded myself that my father’s intentions were good.    
          In the evening, we called the sheriff’s office to ask if a wallet had been found.  A wallet that matched the description had been found; the operator gave us the name and the number of the woman who had called to report the lost wallet.  
          We went to the woman’s house, who turned out to be a friendly person spending her retirement operating the local food pantry.  She was a warm person and happy to be of help.  She gave my husband his wallet and the three of us talked, standing out on the porch as the day eased its way into night.  We talked about our families, about our personal histories, about the town.  She had worked as an engineer before retiring; my husband is also an engineer.  As we turned to leave, we noticed her car-lights were still on.  She thanked us, grateful that she wouldn’t have a dead battery in the morning.  
          As a Mormon, my father’s prayers for the lost wallet were answered.  As an agnostic humanist, my belief in the goodness of humanity was re-affirmed.  And so, in its own way, this lost wallet has served as affirmations for both us. 


  1. I am so glad that you found Badri's wallet. Even more, I am glad that you and your family are finding ways to emotionally coexist. That can be hard for adult siblings and parents, no matter what spiritual path you follow. My siblings and I are all LDS, but that doesn't mean that the dynamics that started when I was a child have changed.

    If anything, becoming adults in separate places makes it even easier to think of me as someone who is the same as when I was whenever they turned eighteen. Since they then moved out of state for college, and have only come back for visits, it is easier to not only disbelieve me about the growth that has happened in counseling, they also don't believe my mother and stepfather, to the point that my mom doesn't try to talk about it, since they essentially call her a liar.

    It makes me sad for my mother, who feels caught in the middle, and I feel sad for my children who are being excluded from knowing their cousins. In the long run, it is my siblings that I feel the most sad for. As long as they blame me for eveything, they don't have a chance to get the counseling to understand the dynamics from our childhood.

  2. Thank goodness your husband's wallet was found! It is interesting dealing with the terminology of prayers when you lose your faith - I don't get offended by it by any means, because like you, I know the other person's intentions are good. I guess I see it as a simple language for a person to show they support you and hope for the best, even if I don't believe in the mechanism itself. Conversely, if someone is asking for my prayers, I word it as I am "sending positive thoughts their way," I'm thinking of them, and hoping for the best, etc. Basically, I can't say I'm praying for them, because that would be a lie, but I want to convey that same message of support and hope in a language I personally believe in.

    1. I've reached that point too. But every once in a while you get that passive-aggressive "I'll be praying for you (to come back to church)" which is hard to deal with. But this wasn't one of those examples. :)


I love hearing comments and I welcome all viewpoints; however, I request that if you do choose to comment, please do so in a manner that is constructive and respectful of others.