The missing wallet and missing the flight.

Travel Bag

You must be wondering what this is all about, but keep with me as I embark on this road.
After I decided to stop over in Johannesburg on my way to Port Elizabeth, there was a humbling atmosphere as I met my kith and kin. We laughed and went down memory lane from our roots. Slept late, cleaned the swimming pool,  ate traditional pap and “highfiridzi” that is meat mixed with green vegetables. It really was a family reunion.  We even went out for dinner for a quality family time because my daughter was also in Johannesburg.  Back to the bit about missing something, it really depends on how much value is attached to it.

Literally, it means, “not being able to be found”  because it is not in the expected place, not present or included when expected or supposed to be. These are just definitions with no emotions whatsoever.  Have any one of us ever really stopped and considered what value if any, trauma felt if any, attachment to that which is missed if any is?

I just took the time to reflect on these two examples which nonetheless I am not saying are critically important,  but using my daughter’s new expression ” in the grand scheme of things” they definitely are maybe at the lower bottom of the value chain. But consider this, I had packed my bags, set my mind to go to Port Elizabeth and really wanted to spend the night with my daughter,  and start my short restoration day. As I sat in the Gautrain from Rosebank to Sandton and OR Tambo airport I had plans. Of course, I needed to be within the time frame for check in, 45 minutes before take off, nothing less “rules of the airline” and no exceptions. When I finally made it to the check-in counter I was not within the stipulated time.

The aeroplane was still there and boarding time was some 30 minutes ahead. I was three minutes late, that is, I arrived at 1718hrs instead of 1715hrs and accordingly missed the opportunity to check in my bag. Let me, however, highlight the fact that boarding time was only going to be at 1750hrs and the boarding gates were not that far.

To the attended at the counter that is just what it was and like I said no value, no emotions, just rebook. Which I did but felt for those 5 minutes betrayed, not being considered etc. How couldn’t they for a moment just consider what it meant to me. I wasn’t just a statistic, but a mother going to visit a daughter.  It meant a lot. Of course, I wasn’t stranded,  so like my daughter later shared with me after we shared this in the grand scheme of things, it was by far not the worst experience.

So I did rebook, unfortunately at the same time her boyfriend had also missed his wallet, which I, later on, discovered after getting home on the next day in Port Elizabeth. How it happened,  I have no idea,  but for the next almost two days I had to relive the experience of missing something which literally and seemingly the fault of the person missing it. But practically every second that passed, someone somewhere could have done something.

The wallet was later found on Tuesday evening and honestly, I had actually made a small prayer to God about it because the scars had not healed yet. But in the grand scheme of things, it was not the worst that had or could have happened. So I decided to share this missing feeling that we sometimes take for granted and yet it has got emotional values attached to it. It could be missing a wallet, a plane, an off ramp, a bus, a coin, etc. Let us stop for a moment and walk in the shoes of those looking for something lost, misplaced or otherwise.


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