If you’re not ready to believe in miracles, stop reading right now.
The prelude to Mother’s Day was a bit rocky. It’s the first Mother’s Day since my mom died last May and I’ve been feeling the renewed weight of loss and sadness. I wasn’t sure I could find a celebratory mood.
When I got home from work on Friday, Louise broke the news to me that she had been wearing a necklace of my mom’s that morning while on a walk in the neighborhood and it had disappeared. She felt horrible about it. I’m not usually especially attached to “stuff”, but the jewelry of my mom’s (some of which was her grandmother’s) means a great deal to me. This necklace was the one that she wore every day for the past many years, and I was crushed that it was gone.
Louise had retraced her steps, thinking it must have fallen onto the sidewalk somewhere in the 20 or so blocks she had walked. She called the couple of businesses she had stopped into. I posted a message with photo on Facebook, which was kindly reposted. I posted in the Lost and Found section of Craigslist.
I found a photo of my mom wearing the necklace on Aaron’s Bar Mitzvah weekend 10 years ago. Yesterday morning we printed up some flyers and Louise put them up all over the neighborhood. Within a few hours, the rain and wind had already torn some of them down. It felt pretty hopeless, and a Happy Mother’s Day ever more elusive.
By this morning, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to see the necklace again. Maybe someone had found it and already given it to their own mother as a gift.
Today got off to a really nice start. Elijah, home from college just in time, made us an amazing Mother’s Day brunch. Homemade bagels with fixings, fresh-squeezed orange juice, bacon and coffee! On the good china! All of which he then washed! Fabulous! It was turning into a really nice day. Then the phone rang.
I didn’t recognize the name on the caller ID and was trying to decide whether to pick up. I had totally forgotten about the 30 signs posted around the neighborhood with our phone number. Louise was upstairs and we each picked up a handset at almost the same time. As I put the phone to my ear I heard Louise squeal and a woman say, “and then I saw the flyer!”
She had found the necklace on the sidewalk on Broadway Friday morning. She brought it into the nearby funeral home, thinking it might have belonged to someone going to a funeral. They told her they didn’t have a Lost and Found there, so she took it into Dava Bead. The staff person there said that whoever lost it would definitely be wanting it back and they would hold onto it.
The woman told us that she had breakfast at Cadillac Cafe this morning and was on her way to the yarn store when she saw one of the flyers. “That’s the necklace!” she realized. She got out her cellphone and called.
I was shouting with joy. Louise asked how we could get in touch with her and the woman said, “You don’t need to. I don’t want the reward.” We thanked her over and over.
“C’mon! Let’s get going!” Louise said. I had to get dressed – it being Mother’s Day and me relaxing in my pajamas at noon and all. But we were out of the house within minutes, exclaiming over this amazing good fortune. We took down flyers as we went.
We picked up the necklace at Dava Bead and did a little dance of joy. We thought maybe it had broken, but it was intact. We figure the clasp must not have been fastened completely and it just slid off. After we left, Louise suggested we swing by the yarn store. So we did. Taking down flyers all the way.
The store was packed! We glanced around for our guardian angel. “How do we know if she’s here?” Louise asked me. We didn’t even know her name. Then, in an uncharacteristically bold move, Louise loudly said, “Did anyone here call about a lost necklace?”
A small woman was sitting in the corner, a tangle of yarn in her lap and a cup of tea at her side. She raised her hand a few inches and said quietly, “I did.”
We rushed over to thank her; she said her name was Susannah. We told her how the necklace once belonged to my mom, Gina, and how much it meant to us to have it back.
Susannah said she was really glad about how things had turned out. She said she had seen flyer after flyer on her walk to the yarn store and could tell how important the necklace was to the owner. I told her I knew she hadn’t wanted to take the reward but that I was hoping I could pass a gift along to her in honor of my mom. I told her about the Hundreds and the blog and she just watched me intently. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a hundred dollar bill and gave it to her. “You can spend it – or pass it along to someone who needs it. Whatever you want,” I told her.
She got up, entangling herself from the yarn that crisscrossed her lap. She started to shake my hand and I gave her a big hug. As we were saying goodbye, she held up the bill. “I know someone who could really use this. It’ll be awesome to pass it on.”
I am so grateful. Thank you, Susannah, for your honesty and for being a woman of action. We are lucky to have you in our world.
So amazing! Louise wore the necklace on the way home. It stopped drizzling and the sun came out.
Shortly after we got home, Aaron called from Dublin to say Happy Mother’s Day. Then Elijah served us tea and homemade cookies. Best. Mother’s Day. Ever.
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