The current medal is actually my third, each a gift from a (different) woman who meant a great deal to me. The first barely outlasted the relationship that started it all, lost after only a couple of years. The second survived much longer, through my days on the road and other youthful misadventures. Unfortunately, the ex never really liked the fact that it was a gift from someone else, and it disappeared during the turmoil of our divorce.
|The second medal was similar to this one. I always liked the Be my guide |
inscription over than the more common Protect us. It seems less needy, somehow.
She needn't have been concerned. While the medals were important symbolic gifts, they were never strong reminders of the givers. They were my secret indulgence in superstition, egotism, ... different things at different times. But this little piece of jewelry (I really think of them as one object) has always felt like mine -- perhaps more than anything else I own -- and I associate it with my personal journey much more strongly than its own origins. I have worn the current version for over twenty years now.
It never mattered to me that St. Christopher was removed from the official roster of saints when I was a child. Actually, since I am not Catholic, it was a bit of a bonus. What was important was that we shared a name, and that he was the patron saint of travelers. As a fledging disciple of an eclectic mix of Eastern philosophies, I initially found the symbolism quite compelling. I no longer read the Tao regularly or consult the I Ching, but I still see life more as journey than destination, so the feeling of kinship with St. Kitt remains strong.
Yesterday morning I reached for the silver chain in its pewter tray, exactly as I have done thousands of times before, and came up empty. The medal and its chain have vanished, and a light search of probable locations has come up empty. I can't definitively remember the last time I noticed having it. You may as well ask when I last remember having my left pinky. All I know for sure is that I don't have it now, and I am beginning to feel its absence.
There may be feline involvement. I felt confident that the cats would not be interested in it, but I began to rethink my position when I saw one carrying a pill organizer down the hall this morning. If so, then it may turn up again, though both cats love to watch things disappear, and there are some suitable crevices and drain holes in our house.
|While often proud of his possessions, Boy Cat was trying to sneak away with this undetected. Don't worry. |
He doesn't have a drug problem. We use these to portion out fish food for vacation pet minders. The cats love fish food.
More likely the clasp gave way and it slipped from my neck in some random location on campus or in the yard. It has happened before, and while up until now I have always felt it fall, I assumed the day would come when I would not be so lucky. If this is the case, and I have seen the last of this iteration, I hope it has fallen where someone will find it. Like the two before this one, I like to think of St. Christopher helping someone else navigate life's strong currents.