“Where’s my jacket?” my eleven-year-old daughter asked. There was panic in her voice.

She frantically darted around our hotel room. First, she checked the closet. Next, our suitcases. Then, near the door.

“I’m not sure,” I responded. “I don’t remember seeing it this morning.”

Outwardly, I tried to remain calm. Inwardly, I panicked.

This wasn’t just any jacket. It was a special jacket.

For the last seven months, she’d traveled the country on the national tour of a Tony-Award winning musical. This tour exclusive jacket was a gift she’d received from the producers on opening night. She’d worn it constantly ever since.

It’d been with her in Chicago, San Jose, Spokane, Fort Worth, Miami, West Point, and around 76 other cities in between. What started as a meaningful gift, was now a constant in her daily travels and represented months of memories.

Now, at 6:30 a.m. in our hotel room somewhere in Virginia, her tour jacket was nowhere to be found.

Her face grew suddenly pale. “I think I left it at the restaurant last night!”

If we’d been staying in town just a few hours longer, this wouldn’t be a problem. But we weren’t. We had to be on the company bus, headed to Tennessee, within the hour.

We reluctantly left town without her jacket, unsure whether we’d ever see it again.

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