Losing something – a grocery list, a ten dollar bill, an earring, or a computer document, for example – is disconcerting. It is unpleasant to no longer be able to locate something. Whenever I misplace an item (more often than I care to admit), feelings of desperation and frustration surface. I am distracted until I locate it. Even if the missing object doesn’t surface in a reasonable amount of time, thoughts of it linger indefinitely in my subconscious. When something is lost, by definition there is no proof that it is gone, so we continue to hope it will turn up.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, with 12 crew members and 227 passengers disappeared on March 8th, 2013. Just disappeared. Nearly everyone worldwide is aware of this event. With no evidence of a crash, the search for it continues, and theories of what happened to it abound. The feelings associated with losing something escalate to a whole new realm, when what is missing are people. I have no personal connections to anyone on the flight, yet I am unsettled by this loss; I cannot fathom the angst of friends and family of the passengers on that flight.
When I was in high school my dad gave me a necklace, and it had a lot of sentimental value for me. One day, I suddenly realized the pendant was no longer on the chain around my neck. I remembered catching it on the dishwasher earlier, as I was unloading the dishes. The chain had remained intact, and I wondered if possibly the pendant had been pulled off without me noticing. The last place I remembered definitely having it was in our kitchen. I searched everywhere, including inside our dishwasher, but couldn’t find it.
Years later, we were moving to a different state. Cleaning the kitchen for the last time, I had a moment of inspiration. Call it a hunch. I was thinking about how I had always hoped my necklace would show up, and now I was leaving any chance of that behind. I looked at the door of the dishwasher again, and noticed a small opening near the latch. We took the front panel off the door and sure enough, there was my necklace – in perfect condition. It seemed impossible, but it must have somehow slipped inside that hole. Hidden in plain sight, so to speak, all this time.
The loss of Flight MA 370 and my missing necklace are dramatically different circumstances, of course. My necklace taught me though, that sometimes we just aren’t looking in the right place. Lost items sometimes do turn up later than expected.
Could it be possible, that the lost plane is also “hidden in plain sight”? It seems inconceivable that in 2014 a large plane can just completely disappear. I hope someone has a moment of inspiration, acts on a hunch and figures out how to find it. Until there is proof that it is gone, I’m trying to remain optimistic that the plane will be found and that all of the crew and passengers are safe.
Other content by this author:
Victim-Shaming Must Cease
How to Find Inspiring Examples of Gratitude and Good Deeds in a Newspaper