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You know my first thought when I read the man's reaction and (unkind) words back to you? That this is a man who has never apparently had a real grief, or a real loss, or a real trauma to know that they were just *things.* They may be irreplaceable and would have been appreciated, but it was an honest, accidental mistake! And perhaps that isn't fair -- maybe he has his own stories of loss or heartbreak tied to those items -- but one thing I've learned since Charley died is that stuff is just -- stuff. Things he touched, used, loved -- after nearly 12 years, they don't matter all that much; they're not him. They can be powerful artifacts one time, transporting me back...but another day, it's just a thing. Which things hold meaning for someone else can be so one-sided and capricious. Maybe Elias wouldn't have cared at all past the first day. Maybe he would have lost them, or they'd be destroyed by a roof leak, or any number of unforeseeable things. *This is not your fault.* You'd never have done it on purpose.

Don't beat your self up over it, and try to forgive yourself daily for it, until it no longer stings. I wish he'd reacted more kindly ... and who knows, maybe you (I) read more into it than he meant. Hang in there....

And perhaps if he'd put a return address or your or Elias's name on the package, some of it could have been salvaged. *It's not all on you.*

Oh, Christy.

You've got to let this go. Right now. This is just an example of a huge cluster**ck that occurs in our universe. You are too good a person to hold onto any guilt at all about this. It was an accident, and it's over. The only person who did wrong was the guy who told you not to contact him again. He needs to get over it, too.

You've got bigger fish to fry. Don't dwell on this. You've forgiven the guy for not putting a NAME on the package (WTF??), and you've forgiven the people who took the stuff to Goodwill. So, now, forgive YOURSELF.

Vicki in Tennessee

I don't know you. I don't know the full background of this story. What I do know is that the man's reaction to your revelation says everything about him and nothing about you.

Stuff is not more valuable than people no matter what the stuff.

"If you are willing to look at another person's behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over time, cease to react at all. - Yogi Bahjan"

I too wish for you the gift of self-forgiveness. You love Elias very much and want him to be happy.
He bet he is happy.

"Unless they find the items, please don't contact me again."

The sounds harsh but I would chalk it up to his own awkwardness. I wouldn't assume he is trying to make you feel bad.

And who would send a package of irreplaceable items without doing a better job of including your name or address and his own?

Finally, you could probably find this kind of stuff on eBay. By irreplaceable he means that he had no more stuff, not that this stuff doesn't still exist.

See, here is the website for Schindler stuff.


It was very cool that someone wanted to send you a box of this stuff for free, but it is hardly irreplaceable. A golf umbrella! Wow.

Thank you all for your thoughtful words. As is usually the case with me, the moment I finished writing this post I felt better, getting it out of my head helped me to move on instead of dwelling on the story.

And I do think his reaction was more about his own issues of having to go back to his colleagues without the heartwarming story of the boy opening the box, instead its a story of multiple errors, by multiple players in the saga, not mine alone.

So yes, Ive forgiven myself. And Candice is right it is just "stuff". And as another friend reminded me, famine and war are disasters, this is, as Vicki says, just one of those clusterfucks that happen in this universe of ours.

Christa i read the Yogi quote twice, and will keep it in the back pocket of my brain for the future as well, thank you. And Julie, Elias didnt even know the package was coming so he is not upset in the least by the loss of the items. Jay, thank you for your perspective and the link, good to know we can always purchase some Schindler bling for our boy.

Again I love reading your comments and thanks for reading this piece.

A friend introduced me to this story the day you posted. I happened to be in Goodwill today and I looked a every yellow shirt, every blue polo, every ball cap and every, single coffee mug. Nothing today but just know that there are strangers out there that were thinking of you.

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