Oh Happy Day!

Finding my diplomas and more 3+ years after putting them in a "safe place" | reflectivemama.comFor the past three years, whenever something was missing, my husband’s response would inevitably be, “It’s with your diplomas.” GRRRRR.

My diplomas have been in hiding for three plus years now. How did I discover they were lost? In 2011, I spent over $100 on a diploma frame. When the frame arrived, I could not find said diploma anywhere. The frame is still in it’s protective shrink wrap, and my husband continues to giggle everytime he is able to use his favorite catch phrase. I am a paper person, and he finds it hilarious that I somehow lost three of the most important pieces of paper I’ve ever owned.

Photos, ticket stubs, certificates, notebooks, post-its, stationery, cards, stickers… I hold on to them all. And other school supplies, of course. Colorful pens, pencils, folders, binders… I’ve said before that I have a nerdy soul. Black Friday has nothing on Back-to-School Tax Holiday in my book.

Thus, losing my high school, college, and grad school diplomas has been devastating. I knew that I packed them VERY carefully in the summer of 2010, before I left to spend a year studying abroad. We stored most of my things in my dad’s basement in St. Louis, and most of my husband’s things at his parents’ house in Kansas City. This was before we were even engaged, so it made sense at the time to divide things up. For years I’ve been convinced that I left my diplomas in my mom’s care in St. Louis.

After realizing that the diplomas were missing, I conducted MANY frantic thorough searches of my dad’s basement and my mother’s office. I looked into ordering new copies, but the high price tag held me at bay. I was also conflicted about printing new diplomas now that I had gotten married and changed my last name. I earned the degrees with my maiden name, but felt like if I ordered new ones that maybe I should change it to my married name. But I felt like that would be weird, too. So I just kept hoping that they would turn up.

This past weekend my luck changed. We came to St. Louis for my niece’s birthday and to spend some time with family. My mom is in the process of redoing a few rooms in her house, and told me she thought she saw my diplomas in her office. I swear, I’ve searched that office at least five times in the past three years to no avail.

I raced back to the room and started looking on the shelves. “No, no,” she said. “It was in the drawer.” I start rapidly opening the drawers, and she directed me to the bottom right. I pull out a padded diploma folder, my hope starting to falter because there was only one, not three. It was my mom’s diploma from completing nursing school.

“That’s it? Oh, it must have been mine I found,” she said. Cruel. Just cruel.

Five minutes later, she asked if I’d checked the pink magazine file bin in the closet in the guest room. I had. She encouraged me to look again. I went. Hope started to creep back in, but less so this time.

I found the bin, and… it wasn’t inside. I had definitely looked in there before. But, wait a second. Behind the file bin, partially covered by toys hidden from my niece, was my old red rolling briefcase I had used when I traveled constantly for work. The wheels were messed up, and I thought I had gotten rid of it a long time ago. This was it. It HAD to be.

I could not get it out fast enough (which was quite a feat due to the narrow closet, the bulky presents, and my need to be quiet because Baby was napping one room over).

Finding my diplomas and more 3+ years after putting them in a "safe place" | reflectivemama.comI unzipped the top, and the first thing I saw were a box of negatives from a trip to Poland and Israel I took in high school. That was promising, because those were definitely something I would want to keep safe. I took them out, and (AHHHHHHH!) my diplomas were underneath!

I tiptoed/ran back to the kitchen to show my mom and started squealing. Her response what to point out that they were exactly where I left them and it was my fault I forgot where they were. Thanks, Mom.

I called my husband, who hadn’t joined us in St. Louis yet because he had to work. My voice was really high and I was talking really fast, yet little sound coming out because I could barely breathe, and it took about six tries before he understood what I was saying (I was really excited).

His response? “Yay! I’m so happy for you. I guess I need to work on a new line.”

Finding my diplomas and more 3+ years after putting them in a "safe place" | reflectivemama.comI went back to the bag, excited for what other gems were hidden inside. My husband had actually been right about two of the other lost things hidden away: my baby book and my favorite childhood book, Funny Bones. I also found a Wicked program from when we saw it on Broadway, Hope for the Flowers (a special gift with an inscription from an amazing mentor and friend), a group picture from a high school youth group conference with both my husband and me in it six years before we actually met, a Harry Potter Sticker Book, a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone pop-up book, and a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets postcard book. I’m debating whether to add those last three to my son’s Harry Potter themed nursery… or to keep them for myself. Decisions, decisions.

What was the last thing that you put in a “safe place,” only for that place to disappear from your mind? What is the longest that you’ve lost something you really cared about?

One thought on “Oh Happy Day!

  1. Pingback: 5 Not So Scary Children's Books for Halloween | Reflective Mama

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