Saturday, May 20, 2006
Lost My Camera (and today is my birthday)
The camera is almost a year old. It has been my "baby" for 11 months. I got it with tax refund money, which I set aside as I eagerly anticipated the camera coming onto the market. Once it was in my hands, I was in love. It became an extension of my eye, my hands, my heart, my soul.
I took it everywhere and kept it safe, and on me, always.
Here is what happened: Mark had business in Phoenix last Monday and yesterday. He decided that we would celebrate my birthday in AZ. So, he worked there Monday, and then we went to Sedona for three days of hiking, exploring, culminating in a hot air balloon ride. I was so excited that I had trouble falling asleep, and our wake-up call was for 3:30 AM. I saved most of my card for that experience and took about a hundred photos then.
Friday, after work in the morning, we met up with my son, who is living in Phoenix, and did a few errands with him. Each time we got out of the car, I took out a small messenger bag, and put that on, and then added my camera bag, because the temps were in the triple digits and I didn't want to fry my camera by leaving it the car.
I think I made two mistakes: 1-I put the camera and the lenses in the camera case. I usually only do that when traveling a long distance in the car. When not doing that, the camera is usually in my backpack or a messenger bag that goes with me. That is what I am used to. Because we made a few stops, I was taking TWO bags with me, instead of the usual ONE (not taking the time to remove the camera and put it in the one bag-not wanting to slow down the process). 2-When we went in to get a sandwich, I had the small messenger on my person, and set the camera bag at my feet. That was a mistake, but not a biggie, because I am also in the habit of looking around me as I get up to leave a place, lest I Ieave something behind. This time, for some reason, I was distracted from doing that. I recall there were several distractions.
Nevertheless-I am beside myself with grief and suffering at my loss. I am kicking myself all over, bursting into tears at odd moments, and generally feeling like my best friend died and I had a limb amputated. I literally feel physically ill.
Having packed the camera for the trip home, it contained not only the camera body, but my most beloved macro lens, a zoom 80-200 telephoto, my lensbaby, a spare battery, and a card containing thousands of photos of hikes and the much-anticipated balloon ride (which was on my list of 43 things to do).
My husband has contacted the manager of the Subway in Phoenix where we ate, and no one has told her of a left-behind camera bag. She is in the process of contacting two more employees, but our guess is that someone was thrilled at the find and not likely to turn it in.
My loss pains me immensely, and this is the most depressing birthday EVER, as a result. It's not like we can just go and replace the equipment that took decades to accumulate. And, of course, we cannot EVER replace the hundreds of photos that were on the memory card.
I think of my much-loved camera in the hands of a stranger who would only care for its monetary value. I think of the dishonest stranger looking at photos of my husband and myself, our balloon ride, and erasing the card without a second thought. I think of the loss of the one material possession that meant the most to me in this world, and I am depressed beyond belief or relief.
I am in mourning. Happy birthday to me.