There is so much angst and ire in the world but there are also some amazing, honest souls out there.
Two weeks ago, I lost my wallet somewhere between lunch and my office … a one-block radius. I was paranoid, as I was leaving for vacation in five days. After freaking out and retracing my steps, going back to the parking lot where I’d parked my car (I wasn’t being lazy–it was supposed to rain and a friend was lending me some pool toys), calling the restaurant, scouring my office and parking lot, I hysterically canceled all my bank and credit cards and spent my Flexible Friday afternoon at the DMV getting a new license–but they only could give me a temporary one, which doesn’t have a photo ID. And I needed to board a plane in four days. Fortunately I have a passport so I had a valid photo ID for security, but still … anyone who has lost their wallet knows what a PITA it is to sort it all out.
Though outwardly I was miserable realizing it was gone, deep down, I didn’t believe it had been maliciously stolen, mostly because five hours passed between when I last had it (my friends saw me put it in my bag after lunch) and when I realized it was missing (at the pediatrician’s office five hours later) … and not a single transaction had occurred on any of my cards. If someone had taken it with bad intentions, they would have used the cards immediately.
Still, either way, I needed my identity back in the form of plastic and a photo ID.
We landed in California early last Tuesday morning and then Wednesday morning I got a Facebook message from someone I didn’t know, claiming she had my wallet–that her fiance had found it in a parking lot the previous Thursday and they’d tried to contact me by going to the address on my license (our old house! New address was on back of license, but they wouldn’t know). Finally, they found me via Facebook–and it turns out, we have several friends in common. Turns out he’d had lunch at the same venue and saw the wallet in the parking lot and grabbed it with the intent to return it to me. It must have fallen out of my bag when I got in the car or something.
Either way, I communicated with his fiancee this week and today, I got my wallet back and got to meet the honest soul who not only found my wallet but returned it to me with everything perfectly intact. I couldn’t have been more grateful or appreciative if I’d tried … and I think he sensed that. Of all the things in there that meant a lot (photos, etc) the one thing that really meant the most to me was the card from my cousin Michelle’s funeral service and the purple flower I took that had fallen off of one of the dozens of floral arrangements that day.
The rest was replaceable but that purple flower petal … that was priceless and symbolic of my last “contact” with her, if you will.
I know there’s a lot of bad news out there in the world but there are also some really amazing people and good, honest souls. To the kind people who helped me–you know who you are–and I can’t thank you enough! I was able to enjoy our vacation a thousand times more because I knew all was safe and sound.
PS–This is the second time Facebook has helped me in a major way. On a 2010 trip to visit my brother in Korea (where he was living at the time), Luis and I met Matt at the bus station in Gunsan only to discover that my red duffel bag was not the red duffel bag left on the bus! We opened it and saw it was an American serviceman stationed in Korea. He got off the bus first and had grabbed mine by mistake. After a freak-out, through the magic of Facebook, we connected and switched bags later that evening and all was right in the world.