Thursday, August 28, 2014
I lost my phone.
Normally that sort of thing doesn't faze me. Yeah it's a pain and an expense to deal with, but I'm not so attached to the smart phone world to mind living without it for a few days. I can lock it remotely (yes, if you have an iPhone I highly recommend the Find my iPhone app), my contacts are backed up, and I can borrow other phones in the meanwhile.
But...it was Mike's phone. I remember how excited he was to get a smart phone a few years before he died. He was so enthralled with the idea of live video chat; that he could laugh and talk in real time with his daughters, and baby grandson. He downloaded all kinds of apps and games and I'd often find him in deep concentration over a game of Angry Birds, or sitting listening to his iTunes or Pandora. He was mesmerized by the technology. He felt like it was only one step away from have a Dick Tracy watch, something he loved reading and dreaming about when he was a kid.
Me on the other hand couldn't be bothered. I couldn't care less about having a smart phone - in fact I stoutly refused to get one. I wanted to hold out as long as possible before entering that world. I was already resenting seeing people sitting together at a restaurant for example, not talking but each staring into their ridiculous little rectangles, their eyes glazed over, hypnotized by the virtual reality.
We used his phone after he died to call a lot of his friends, but I still didn't consider using it myself. My stepdaughters encouraged me to take it over but I couldn't imagine ever needing to use Facebook on a mobile device. I found the whole thing ridiculous. But eventually they convinced me. My stepdaughter Heather even put my line on her family plan to help out which was an amazing thing to do. I remember the day I went in to the phone store and they deleted his line, and put my number in. It felt horrible to lose it into the ether...just another part of him, gone forever.
But, I did have his phone. It was a little out of date and kind of slow compared to what I see other people have now, but I didn't care. It had all his pictures on it (yes, I backed those up too, but it's not the same), all his contacts in addition to mine, all his music, apps, backgrounds and sounds. So losing it is like losing another little piece of him.
It's just a thing, yes...and yes I have cleared out many of his other belongings. But certain items do seem to have a stronger importance, or vibe, to them.
For example, after he died we all freaked out when we realized his favorite wrist guard which he used for his archery was missing. We couldn't find it anywhere. It hurt a lot - I cried about that wrist guard many times. I feel very much the same about his phone. A dig in the depth of my gut; a twist in my spirit about a material object that represented so much about my husband, but has gone missing along with him, somehow.
Eventually I made peace with the idea that that wrist guard was just a thing, and I had others of his things and there was nothing I could do about it anyway. But one day, about a year after he died, I decided to move his mattress, and found the wrist guard had been somehow wedged underneath. I stood there, stunned, for about a minute, trying to figure out how this bit of leather we had all longed for had suddenly appeared unexpectedly. But there it was.
Maybe, someone will call the "lost phone" app number I entered. But it's been a few days. Pretty unlikely. Probably, it's gone. I probably won't get it back as miraculously as that wrist guard reappeared.
I don't find that living without my smart phone is any real challenge. The little beeping and chirping rectangle I'd carried with me so closely and religiously all this time is now gone, but I haven't gone into withdrawal. The sadness is only due to its energetic connection to my husband, who is also gone. And that, I will admit, hurts very deeply.