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The Return of the Sword: A Tale of Betrayal and Loss

When I was holding the sword in my hand again, I could only guess where it had been. Its faded, cracked sheath and rusty blade told a story of neglect, but beyond that was another tale of how it had disappeared, how its absence had been explained, and how its return undermined that version of events. When I told my friends the story about the sword's disappearance, they consistently pled that it was merely a material item and its absence shouldn't matter. They needed background.

Invariably I would find myself explaining how a foster child's life is different than theirs, how our grasp on the few material items we have is more desperate, and that our lives are more about loss than replacement. The story of the sword goes back further than its disappearance, however, and like our lives, it is best explained from the beginning, by going through the middle, and stopping at the end.

In order to find out what the sword means to me, or to those around me, we need to dip in and out of my life and theirs. Like any drama, it's a story with multiple players, and to come to a full understanding of what role the piece of metal plays we have to do more than run a wire wheel over its blade.

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