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From the Publisher's Desk – Sometimes more is lost than we think (Feb. 24, 2016 issue)

“It must be here somewhere,” John thought as he frantically searched through everything. How could this happen? There is no backup system.
He thought of the many things that are yet unfinished. Without it, he had only a few short hours before life would end. There was no other option but the end, he thought. Although, John had never been in this particular situation, it had been an unimaginable fear in his heart for the longest time. There was no going forward from this moment unless the situation was reconciled.
His children came into the room, staring with puzzled confusion. Of course, they were speechless but their questioning eyes awaited a response from him. They, too, were unfamiliar with his behavior and unsure how to proceed. It would have been more understandable if the role had been reversed and they were searching, but not their father. They had sought answers from their father, but had received none. It was a blank screen.
Next, John’s wife entered the room. Her eyes spoke a silence of longing for answers but not familiar with how to phrase the questions or how to begin. She just knew that communication between she and John had been nonexistent all day and that something must be the problem.
John knew there were meetings he had to get to and yet he couldn’t recall the times or the topics of discussion at the moment. He thought he had a doctor’s appointment, but that, too, was just another bit of confusion and mystery thrown into the chaos racing through his brain.
Suddenly his panic broadened. How were his stocks doing today? If he leaves the house, what is the weather? Did the anniversary gift he ordered for his wife ship? Is their anniversary the 25th or 26th.
If only he could get the answers to these many questions. He never felt so helpless and so lost. His entire world was gone and his functions had been voided. He had only uncertainties of his plans and functions from this moment forward. There was a deep, sickening feeling welling up in the bottom of his stomach.
He tried to retrace his steps from room to room. Did he have it at home last night? Of course, it was there before bedtime and the last thing he saw as his eyes closed shut.
Finally, giving up, he proceeded downstairs to eat breakfast with his family. It may very well be his last meal. He was unsure what he could eat. Maybe he was allergic to something, maybe he was on a diet and it was forbidden. He would have to risk it at this point. He hadn’t thought for himself in a long time.
John’s family seemed bothered but they continued to communicate with each other and speculate as to what he was thinking or what had happened. It was as if John wasn’t even in the room or not part of their lives.
He watched as their normal routines continued, but he felt helpless in how to reach out to them and they were clueless as well. They vaguely remembered a time like this when they were very young. It had been so long since experiencing such a thing that they could not remember how it worked in the past.
John knew it was time to give up on the search. His family had tried to reach out to him but there was not a sound. It was as if he had gone mute to them. Chances were growing slimmer by the minute, like a battery slowly draining of all its juices and charge.
There was only one option open, John would seek out professional help. It would be like starting over. He would be out of his element. Things would be new again and connections would have to be established, but he could slowly build his life back up and get back close to where he once was.
Without a word, he hopped in his car and made every effort he could to rush to the store. It was the first time in a long time he had relied on his own judgments and senses to accomplish something. Would he even know enough when he got there to reestablish his identity? John wasn’t sure, but he couldn’t stand the loss of his family and the lack of communication between them.
John finally arrived at the store. He managed to point and utter enough brief gibberish for the sales clerk to help him get his life back.
On the way home, he reached out to his family to tell them he was going to be okay and was on his way home. They were so excited and responded back quickly to welcome him back into their lives. They were so thankful for the news that their family was once more whole.
Maybe going forward they could devise a plan in case this happened again in the future, but for the moment they couldn’t even entertain such a terrible thought. They had needed their father for so many things while he had been cut off from them. Their worlds had collapsed just as well but at least they could communicate with one another and with their mother.
For now, the horror was over. John had gotten a new cell phone and could once again be included in text communication with his family as they sat in the same room at the dinner table. He could once again know when his appointments were and how to dress for the day ahead.
His wife’s anniversary gift was on the way and the date was the 26th. He could now send her a special text message on that day. How dreadful it would be if he had to resort to verbal communication. That is so awkward and so outdated, he thought.
Then John woke up from his bad dream, realizing the future his family was facing. He got ready, went downstairs for breakfast, left his cell phone in the bedroom and said “Let’s have real conversation this morning.”