The Watch, the Duffel Bag and St. Christopher

I have been following along a meditation program that goes through different ‘phases’ of active meditation. I am not writing about the meditation itself today – that will be a topic that ‘future’ Devon can write about. One of the steps or phases is on forgiveness. Since it asks that you think of and forgive someone (or yourself) for a past experience, it brought to mind an event that happened back in 2004. And then, my aunt, sent me this photo of Jay and I from sometime in 2003 or early 2004, I am not quite sure. When I saw this photo again, I was reminded of this watch on Jay’s wrist. My sister and I had gone to Europe again for a month from April to May of 2003, and I bought this watch for Jay while in Paris. It wasn’t worth a lot, but at the time I bought it, it was an ‘expensive’ gift with my budget.

Jay and I were living in a suite in the basement of a house, and our place was robbed in 2004. And not just robbed, but ransacked and turned completely upside down. You had to wade through stuff dumped and gone through. I suppose they thought they were taking anything that might have value. Although, how some old purses, some sunscreen lotion and frozen juice concentrate in our freezer qualify as ‘valuable,’ I don’t know. They took shoes, electronics, and clothing as well. The manual camera of my grandpa, as well as the zoom lens Jay had gifted me to go with it (I was in art school at the time). Some special things of mine, like all my jewellery were taken. These things were also not worth much but their sentimental value. I had a necklace with St. Christopher pendant – the Patron Saint of travellers, which was a gift from my parents when I went on my year abroad. I had some gem stone earrings which was a gift from my Dutch ‘host mom’ when we visited Zutphen together.

Another item I very much miss, was a green duffel bag. It was a Heineken duffel bag. This was a gift from ‘The Netherlands’ to all of us exchange students in my year, when we arrived. All of us exchange students met for our introduction event and were presented with these duffel bags. They were not something that people could purchase, so it was a special, keepsake gift. It was a great gift for us travellers. One positive is that I did have the serial number for grandpa’s camera. The police found it! It was the one thing we got back, so of all the things, I am glad that was returned.

It was very hard to lose all of these things in such a way. It’s different when I chose to move on or let things go. But not choosing it is where the hurt comes in and lingers. I have felt sad about this ever since. When I think of forgiveness, I can forgive. The people that did this, didn’t know me. Didn’t know what these things meant to me or why they were important. They were clearly in a desperate or ‘low’ place. I can be thankful I have never been in such a position.

I will still feel sad. But I have this photo. Which, I love by the way because my aunt caught this moment of us in the midst of hysterical laughing.

Sending Love,


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