Ball Gone

It’s just a ball, right?

No. It isn’t.

It was Ranger’s soccer ball. The one she and I played with countless times together (including this amazing miraculous time in 2012 that I titled “Soccer Ball Loving Dog” after discovering her previously unknown talent that I posted to Youtube, which got tens upon tens of views:

The one and only ball long and reverently placed at the feet of the Ranger-esque statue we rescued from the curb after a neighbor had kicked it there.

And now the ball is gone, thanks to a member of the gardening crew deciding to lightheartedly pick it up and target — good aim — a workmate weedwhacking another part of our overgrown yard (as caught on our backyard cam):

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I’m practically inconsolable. It’s sudden loss is a reminder that even more than four years after we had to say goodbye to Ranger due to cancer, I just continue to miss her just a staggering amount.

I’ve said my little magic affirmation that has so successfully reunited me with countless missing things over my life: “Nothing is lost, it is simply not revealed.” But I do so accompanied with more hopelessness and grief than should be available..

I noticed the ball missing from the statue’s feet almost immediately upon getting home. My admiration for the thorough and awesome job they did in restoring some order to our overgrown backyard replaced by a worried scroll through the camera footage to pinpoint the moment in time as shown above when it went missing.

Texts and calls to the crew chief had him insisting the ball was still in the backyard. But it wasn’t. It isn’t.

I looked everywhere. In the trees. Over fences, under bushes. The front and sides of the house. Nothing.

One of the few physical connections I had to my beloved Ranger, gone. Maybe the guy with the weedwhacker (who doesn’t appear to notice being struck by the ball accidentally popped it and/or it got mixed up in a huge pile of weedwhackings that got scooped up, bagged and tossed into the haul-away truck.

I don’t know. All I know is that hurts like hell that it’s not where it’s supposed to be.

UPDATE: Happy ending. The ball has been recovered and returned. Don’t ask me how but somehow it wound up over the back gate and stuck behind a bush on the north side of the house. Nothing is lost. It is simply not revealed.