Things are just things. They can't hold you or wipe your tears or tell you that you look breathtakingly beautiful... But some things carry with them powerful memories: the way my beloved Aunt smiled telling me about her favorite ring; the sheepish grin of relief and satisfaction on my husband's face when he saw how much I loved a jewelry set he bought me before our fifth Christmas as husband and wife; the sturdy Lands' End backpack that accompanied me across the country on countless trips for business and pleasure.
So much of my life as a freelancer depends on my laptop, and now my MacBook Pro is gone. With it went the last batch of photos and downloads I hadn't backed up. Also gone is the very spendy first-generation iPad that my husband got me for Mother's Day 2010; a brand-new pair of Sennheiser headphones I had bought to replace an identical pair that had broken a while back. There were also about a dozen other things I won't bother to itemize except to say that it's a tribute to my Lands' End backpack that everything fit so comfortably.
What hurts most, however, is not the electronics, but the small jewelry roll filled with irreplaceable pieces. When I called one jeweler, Adel Chefridi, to find out the approximate value of the freshwater pearl earrings and necklace the Husband had given me, the rep was so touched she said Adel would make me a replacement of the set, even though it's no longer part of their collection. As soon as I receive my insurance check, I will definitely take Adel's studio up on the offer. Unfortunately, another set was made my a jeweler friend who has since switched to interior design work, and yet another was created specifically for me by a dear friend who designs jewelry for her loved ones. Pictured is me looking amused during our 10th anniversary tea at the Langham Hotel in London. You can see earrings made by one friend and a necklace by another.
There were also pieces that belonged to my beloved late aunt and grandmother, amy they forever rest in peace. These can never, ever, be replaced. No amount of money could replace the sentimental value of the sparkles themselves. I can no longer leave the jewelry to my daughter or nieces as I had planned. I can never put them on again and smile at the memory of them wearing the items or the moment they passed them on to me. They are lost to me, and for that I am sad beyond belief.
The break-in thief hit the jackpot when I parked my van at a garage in downtown DC. He got so much more than he bargained for, and in exchange I feel violated, dejected and stupid (Why do I have to be a freelancer who schleps her work on her back? Why didn't I leave the iPad with my kids at my friend's house during our childcare swap? Why didn't I remember to empty everything out in the one day between vacation and work?). I have no hope that my things will be recovered, but I hope that one day justice prevails and the thief is caught. Not for my things, but for my treasures.