Friday, April 25, 2014

It's a Sure Thing: I lost my wallet.

My Dad. Sharing his secrets with me. 
I am using a black mesh pencil case that came free with a spiral notebook as a makeshift wallet.

It is my mourning wallet.

Somehow, I lost my wallet on Thursday. I was out and having a fabulous day of multitasking and mothering and Martha-ing and feeling all zen with my life. I had an amazing workout in the morning. I cleaned my house. I did my work. I managed to haul multiple children to multiple activities. I was present and playful at the playground.

It was perfect.

Then at 10 p.m., I realized my wallet was gone. And with it, my life.

As every adult knows, everything you are in this world is in your wallet. Your driver's license, your bank cards, your credit cards, your receipts, your gift cards, your store reward cards, fortunes from cookies long eaten and for me I had one tightly folded $100 bill.

It was not spending money or emergency money. It was winnings from a horse race. And I've carried it for 2 1/2 years.

After my Dad died, my cousin Sue was at the track. It is a family thing, this horse racing, poker, betting thing. It is in our shared genetics to have perfect poker faces and deep intuitions about how something will turn out.  

Anyway. Sue was at the track and saw a horse named "Bill's Promise." A long shot.  My Dad's name was Bill. She bet on it. Bill's Promise placed and she won that $100 bill.

At my Dad's funeral, Sue gave it to me. While some dead parents would show themselves to their loved ones with spirit animals or other beautiful signs, my Pop showed himself to me in a horse race.

I took that bill and kept it with me. It's survived transitions from wallet to wallet. On the day my wallet went missing, I remember thinking how amazing it was I managed to keep it safe for so long.

That was my Carrington intutition telling me it would be gone.

Every time I saw that bill, it reminded me to bet on long shots. It reminded me that odds do not matter when you have a feeling. It reminded me of my Dad's boyish mischievous ways and his love of a competition. It reminded me of how old he was when I was born; and how he lived fully until he was 91. It reminded me of stories of his ship being torpedoed and the nights he spent in the South Atlantic Ocean adrift. It reminded me that he beat the odds and as a result, I am here and my children are here. It reminded me of the night I called my Dad and asked him if he thought Lily would survive brain cancer and he told me, yes.  It reminded me that despite every crappy thing life handed my Dad, he still had his faith and that as he lay dying his faith carried him home.  It was a safety net for my soul, when I felt like everything was a long shot and I should just pack it up and go home.

It is a silly thing to place my faith on--a ridiculous, blasphemous item to have at my altar. But that $100 bill was all I had of my Dad.

It was also a sure thing. It was always there, I expected it. I knew about it. And maybe that's the reminder--the sure things are not necessarily living--the sure things are simply safe. The long shot, however, is always an adventure.


  1. Sorry for your lost wallet I hope someone returns it with you 100 dollar bill.

  2. This makes me so sad. My friend Mimi lost her engagement ring a month ago and just found it this week in front of her dryer. I am holding out hope. Praying to Saint Anthony. Love you.