I knew it was somewhere in the contents of my purse/snack bag/portable brain of mine. Out of desperation, I dumped the entire contents of my purse on the counter for total reconnaissance.
After sorting through the immense pile, I began to notice the contents were sort of bag-like-scrapbook of my life. Spread out before me was not only a pile of junky stuff, but bits of memories, funny little items and things saved for no apparent reason.
There was the pressed penny from a recent trip to the zoo. It housed the sweet memory of a summery week spent in Michigan visiting family and friends. Not just a penny, but a chance to treasure my son's viewpoint of seeing my birthplace through his eyes.
Then there was the Thomas the Train sticker. My son's reward for a trip to the doctor. The quiet comment from him saying "Mom, I'm not too old for Thomas the Train," then watching him secretly slip it into my purse out of the sight where no one would see.
A collection of leftover Tylenol Junior tablet wrappers brought the reminder of a family wedding in Florida. Upon arrival, my son developed a scary-too-high fever. Alone in a strange hotel room, all night I kept vigil with cold compresses. Watching the clock, I barely slept to stand ready to give him the next dose. I remember the miracle of the next morning, when he completely recovered, allowing us to spend a joyful day with family at the beach.
At the bottom of the purse I found tiny Lego men and strange pieces that I knew had invaded my entire home, but now like Carolina Kudzu had shown up where you least expect it. A surprise was a Moosehead beer cap. I neither drink beer nor like it, except for on extremely hot summer days. The cap must have been saved as treasure from my son and placed in my purse for safekeeping.
I thought about what the contents of my purse might say about me. If it was found by some private detective and analyzed for diagnosis, I'm sure it would come back to say something like "an extreme fetish for breath mints, weird gum, hair tools and lipgloss. Extremely jumbly - how does she find anything?"
Like an adored scrapbook, I was surprised that my purse contents told such history. The items offered sweet nostalgia from a past season of my life. Not simply a bunch of stuff in a bag, but things that told my story. I never did find my iPod in there, but I did find something even better -- treasures of times in my life worth remembering.