I stood alone at the empty carousel. It had finished spinning out the bags from my flight and mine wasn’t among them. I glanced at the people around me–they were busily texting and briskly wheeling their suitcases outdoors toward ground transportation.
“What did it look like?” The friendly customer service rep was trying to help me find my lost bag as I waited in her office.
I was a little embarrassed. “It was small. And green. With um bright flowers all over it.”
She smiled. “Oh! We have it here. I’m sorry but it seems to have come apart a bit, so we kept it safe.”
“That’s the one.” There was no mistaking the unique floral case the rep brought out from the back. It had been shabby to start with, but now the handle was dangling off and one side was shredded. “It was my mother’s. I guess I’ve had a hard time letting it go.”
“I understand. I could tape it up as a temporary solution.”
As I watched, I thought of the broken vase and the lost earring and the other disappearing mementos. They would all be gone eventually, except for the ones in my heart.