My 88-year-old Dad misplaced his checkbook last week and over the weekend a full-on, pull-out-all-the-plugs search effort was executed by our mom, me, my five siblings and even a few grandchildren.
We asked our Dad a million questions about the last time he used the checkbook and the last time he remembered seeing it. We prayed to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items, and then finally our Dad decided to call the bank since St. Anthony didn’t deliver the goods. Thankfully, the bank said there was no activity on the account and no checks had been written on the account so we decided it was not lost in the classic sense of it being out there for a stranger to find and take advantage of. It was just misplaced in my Mom and Dad’s house.
But still we kept thinking we could find it and we didn’t give up. We looked everywhere: drawers, cars, pockets, purses, envelopes, piles of paper and under beds and couches. No checkbook.
Trying to find a lost item is extremely annoying but you never want to give up hope because you keep thinking that you will find the item under the next pillow that you pick up or the next jacket that you search. Whatever it is that you are looking for you keep believing that it could suddenly reveal itself!
So you continue to hunt. And you try to help the person who lost the possession, asking them to go backwards in their memory and possibly re-create the point at which it became lost, hoping to jog their memory and trigger that light bulb moment of saying, “I remember where I left it!” I was very sympathetic with this situation because I have lost things that I have never found, (a ring and a treasured notebook) and it is beyond a bummer.
But, I must say, at one point the frustration was rising. As we updated each other about the status of the search through texts or talking, the tone started to change a bit. We could see that there wasn’t anything more we could do to help find the stray checkbook, but we didn’t want to give up.
Instead, my siblings and I did what we always do when we are in a pinch and we feel punchy: we started making jokes.
Silly jokes and stupid jokes and then irreverent jokes about what we would do if we actually found the incredible disappearing checkbook. “I would write a check to myself for $1000.” “No I would write a check to myself for way more than that, at least enough for a down payment on a house or a car.” “No I’d write a check for a million dollars but then it would bounce.”
We made jokes about how the checkbook wasn’t really lost, that our Dad really had it stored somewhere safe and that all this searching was really a cry for attention. Then we made more jokes about how much of a reward should be given to the person who actually finds the checkbook, no matter who they are, family or not!!
The checkbook is still lost but we decided the whole exercise was a good lesson in sticking together and in this case being forced to find the funny and ridiculous side to a frustrating, dead end dilemma.
Sometimes the best jokes and life’s more hilarious moments are spontaneous and unplanned!!