“Wait! I don’t have my cell phone!” I said in a panic as we stood by the elevator of the parking garage. My friends and I were about to head home when I reached into my coat pocket and realized my phone was not there. We just finished walking in The Women’s March for the second year in a row. We were cold, tired and hungry. The last thing needed was an unwelcome delay.
I rely on my cell phone more than I care to admit. It tells me the time, the weather and keeps me up to date on current events. It’s my company when I’m waiting for appointments. I use it to read my emails and social media. It’s my link to the outside world. What’s funny is I can count on one hand how many times per month I use it for its purpose which is having an actual telephone conversation with another human being. When I have it I don’t need to talk to anyone else. It takes me away from where I am.
The morning of the Women’s March my focus wasn’t there. A few days prior we had snowstorm and I had no desire to walk downtown in the cold on ice and snow. Once we arrived, just walking from the parking garage to where the march was to begin was difficult. As we walked someone insulted us and called us names. It was obvious he wanted to get a response from us. I was already irritated and it took all of my might to hold my tongue. There were people from various groups preaching at us and making us feel like what we were doing was “wrong.” I felt judged for being there.
The march from the year before seemed more uplifting. We were united even though we were there for our own different reasons. We wanted to march not only in protest but in peace. Hundreds lined the sidewalks and streets. I saw positive signs that gave me hope and encouragement. This year my friends were already excited about next year’s march. I didn’t have the same feeling. I couldn’t even remember why I was there.
One of my friends went out with me to help find the phone. I thought it was hopeless and had no idea how we would find it in the crowd. We searched a few minutes when I noticed a woman walking in my opposite direction. I saw the sparkle of a pink phone cover in her hand. It was my phone! When I approached her, she told me as she was walking she looked down and found it in the snow. Apparently, I was in such a hurry to leave the march I didn’t realize the phone had fallen out of my pocket. I hugged her as if she and I were family. She hugged me back and said, “We support and help each other.” I then remembered the reasons why I was there.
There are “things” that can be replaced. Time can’t be replaced.
Those closest to us can’t be replaced.
Later that night I grabbed my phone ready to use it in my usual routine. I was so happy to have it back. Then I happened to see my 4 year old daughter sitting alone looking through her books. I thought about how she’s growing up faster than I realize. I put my phone away. Every night since, we read her books together.