When lost things come back: of blogs and refrigerators

I thought I lost you.

But I didn’t!

I was blocked from this blog for most of Wednesday, and I was heartsick about it. I wrote to anyone I thought might be following the blog and asked if they would forward me the post updates they received via email. Friends took time out of their busy days to forward me what they had, and with each arrival in my email inbox, the volume on my anxiety turned down a notch. My brother and my dear friend R’s husband guided me through how I might be able to reconstruct the blog through xml files. I am so grateful to all of you for helping me—you made my workday bearable, kept me from breaking down in tears. From what was sent to me, combined with a few things I had saved, I would have been able to reconstruct about a half of the blog, and that was better than nothing. As luck would have it, the blog came back up late Wednesday night, and I got an apologetic email about it being an error. I was so relieved I danced. And then I got to work backing everything up—twice.

There is a theme running through my days, and I’d call it when lost things come back.

For example, we have this mammoth refrigerator. It has been the bane of my existence since we moved here. It is twenty years old and so loud you can hear it throughout the house. But in recent weeks, it has gotten even louder. I didn’t want to have it fixed because I knew that we would need it for when my stims arrived—some unopened cartridges need to be stored at 36-46 degrees. I didn’t want to risk being refrigerator-less for any amount of time. So I decided to stick it out, and have DH get the fridge fixed when I go to Colorado.

On Christmas Day, right after we got back from an invigorating hike up a hill by Billy Joel Park in Cold Spring Harbor State Park, right before we were about to do a skype call with my entire extended family in Ohio and  fix a lovely dinner of filet mignon and grilled sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe, I shoved the refrigerator, like the Fonze trying to fix the diner jukebox, to muffle its monster-sound. It’s a huge vibrating humming sound that I can sometimes muffle momentarily by nudging—or shoving, if I’m feeling impatient with it—against the wall. In that moment, the refrigerator went dead silent.

“No,” I whispered, thinking of my stims inside the meat drawer. “No no no no no no no…the refrigerator has stopped working, stopped working….no stores are open…we can’t get a cooler or ice…”

DH came in, saw my crumpled face, put his hands lightly on my shoulders and looked me in the eye. “It’s going to be okay,” he said. He started explaining how he would take the medication to his workplace and store it in the refrigerator there. He would put it in a bag that said DH’s bagels, do not move. 

“What about all the food we just bought,” I said. ”I have to call my family now and I’m so upset. What about dinner. Will the medication be safe? What if…”

My mind was racing. Christmas dinner delayed. Call to my family tarnished with anxiety. And my medication in some workplace refrigerator, crammed between lunch boxes.

Quite some time passed as we discussed our plan, me turning dials inside the refrigerator to get it to come back on, hearing the silence, and feeling miserable.

I stepped away from it and surrendered control.

And then, suddenly: the refrigerator kicked back on. DH and I stared at each other.

“I love you, refrigerator,” I said, hugging it. “I don’t care that you’re loud! Be loud! Thank you for keeping my medicine and food cold!”

Some other things have gotten lost and returned to me lately: my watch, money, and a few other things. What lesson is trying to find its way to me? Something about keeping precious things safe. Something about having faith that lost things will eventually come back. Something about appreciating with deep gratitude what you already have.

Being blocked from this blog brought home to me with intensity how incredibly important it is to me. It helps me make sense of what I’m going through. It makes me feel less isolated and more connected. Being able to type these words and send them out to you, right now, I feel that I have access to a gift. I guess losing it for a day to be reminded of what I have, here, was well worth it.

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