Although I try my best to live each day in gratitude, there remain some days, only a few days that leave you just scratching your head in wonder. Today was one of those days. I spent most of the day in bed trying to ward off the aches, pains and nausea that settled in my body. My puppy Rex, tail in a constant motion of happy lay by my side as did a myriad of cats in various stages of grooming or recline. Although I was the only human in the house, I felt loved unconditionally with my swarm of pets around. I received three letters in the mail, cuddled with my adult daughter while she told of her passion for her work caring for the elderly. In the latter part of the afternoon I sipped my favorite Yerba Matte Latte. Then there was the moment that I discovered I misplaced my keys. The quiet focus on feeling well quickly wound into a spiral of, “ Where are they? How will I get to work in the morning?” I held the image of Toyota on tow truck making the fifty-mile jaunt to Down East Toyota for a special key with a microchip deeply implanted in the black plastic key handle. “That will be two hundred and eighty dollars, Mrs. Keene.”
The afternoon was a dance of sleep and leaping out of bed sure that a 10th search through my jacket pocket or the 18th rifling through my purse would result in a find. Broom handle pushing the dust bunnies, shoes, socks and wrappers from the dusty darkness normally found under my bed unearthed nothing but a pile that I pushed to the side while I continued my quest. When I lose something, all I have room for in my mind is mapping out a plan to find the missing object. Rest does not come easily. The tension is felt throughout the house. It is no fun for anyone.
Into the darkness of night, armed with a flashlight I searched corners, drawers deep with underwear and socks and I even looked in the refrigerator. I prayed continuously through the day for calm and a resolution to this mystery. I prayed for acceptance. Finally, I prayed to my patron saint, St. Jude. I felt foolish praying for such a trivial request, my keys, but as I prayed I imagined my mother mouthing the same words fervently begging for assistance with something far greater than keys. As I prayed, I felt a connection with my mother. You see, my mother prayed to St. Jude when I was born. Being a few pounds meant that the chances of my survival were slim. My mother turned to her faith.
After prayer, I found the keys. They slid between the passenger’s seat and the door. With keys in hand, the tears came freely. Not because I found my keys, but I imagined the intensity of despair in my mother’s wait following my birth. Her prayer and the fact that she carried a little card with the prayer to St. Jude in her purse, is a testament to her love for me and the power of faith, for we are never alone in our despair, no matter how great or small.