As she took a final look, she concluded the earring was nowhere in her luggage. She sighed, looking out the window at the first snowfall of December. It had been her favorite pair. She’d worn those earrings everywhere, often forgetting to take them out at night.
Her eyes stung suddenly, though not from the harsh glare. It was silly. Why was she so upset over something so small?
Debating whether to even keep the remaining earring, she busied herself with putting away the last of the clothes from her recent trip. It had been a trying month, and now December was staring her down and she knew it was going to be harder than November. Dreams she had once fostered she now no longer had the heart to pursue—not when there was so much else that needed to be dealt with. And it was long past time she got practical. As she closed the closet doors, the thud resonated deep within her as if she’d stuffed hope away too.
When she swiveled, her gaze fell on the unmatched earring.
Unmatched, incomplete, purposeless. She wanted to toss it across the room. Throw it away. Forget the stupid allegory.
As the weeks passed, she considered replacing the earrings, but December was not the time for superfluous purchases. Amid her busyness, she put the lost earring from her thoughts. But each time she habitually stroked an earlobe and felt only emptiness, she remembered how silly she’d been to retrace her steps at the airport a week after she’d lost the earring, hoping against hope. It was as if her desperate attempts were the last ounce of control she had. Plans and dreams might never be found again, she had reasoned, but surely finding an earring isn’t impossible, is it? It had taken only one realistic moment for her to realize the scope of her presumption.
Eventually, empty felt normal. Christmas came and went.
The best gift she received that season didn’t come on Christmas day. It came several nights later. A zip-lock bag containing one, small earring.
If felt like a small miracle. That which had been lost one thousand miles away had been found. And returned.
But when she hurried to match the pair, she couldn’t find the other earring. In her hopelessness, had she thrown it away? In her practicality, had she lost faith?
She knew she had. She couldn’t remember throwing it out, but she knew she’d wanted to.
She dug deeper in her small box, all but turning it upside down.
There, amidst all her cast offs, was the widowed earring. She slumped with relief. As she once again looked at the sparkling studs in the mirror, she was shaking.
To think, after a futile search, what was lost had been found.
And yet she’d nearly given up hope on the one thing that was not impossible. And it scared her.
“Lord,” she prayed, “let me never forget.”