Friday, August 10, 2012

Virtuous Necklace

An anonymous package came in the mail for me from New York last week. My first reaction was, "Oh crap, it's the Unabomber, don't open it!" But, after weighing out the odds of an actual mail-bombing happening to me, I decided that I should open it anyways.
I'm so happy I did! Inside was a beautiful card and handmade seashell necklace.
It was a lovely gift from a woman who's wallet I had found last year, while I was thrift-store shopping downtown. I had been rummaging through a bin of clothing when I looked down to see this little purse lost in a sea of well-loved-frocks. I opened it up to find a New York drivers license and 25 dollars.
I knew immediately what had happened, because it has happened to me many times before, in various locales of my life!
I suddenly imagined her joyfully sifting through the all the goodies, busily distracted with thrifty treasures, when suddenly she realizes she had set her purse down in all the commotion; lost somewhere in endless piles of fabric! I could so relate!
I've lost my wallet at grocery stores, parties, and even once at a train station. I know what it feels like to get distracted and lose your mind wallet.

I didn't know who this woman was, or how I was going to find her, but I immediately felt an empathetic connection to her loss. I went home and did a more thorough investigation of her wallet to find a business card. Although the business card didn't match the name on the license, I tried calling the number on it, anyways. There was no answer and it went straight to voicemail. Next I emailed the address on the business card, but with no reply. I then looked up her name on facebook, sent a message, and still got no reply. After about 4 days I was feeling so frustrated about not being able to reach this woman, and even worried that she might be in trouble! My efforts at finding her were turning into a mild obsession!
I finally got a call on the 5th day and It was her! Yay! She had been staying in an out-of-service-hippie-community and just got my message. We were able to connect, and exchange smiles, hugs, alohas, the wallet, and then quickly move on. She had a big smile on her face as she walked back to her car.

Getting this package in the mail was a lovely surprise for me, however, as I'd long forgotten about the wallet woman. She mentioned in her letter how she was touched by my efforts at returning it to her. The thought never crossed my mind once of keeping it for myself! Honesty and integrity are virtues I strive for in my life, and returning someone's wallet is one simple way of living true to my values.

Thank you for the beautiful, seashell necklace, Lena Moon. I love it! It will serve as a beautiful reminder to always do what's honest and true. (And maybe even a gentle reminder to keep better track of my own wallet!)

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