Plain(s) Feminist has a post on her blog about a stranger's extraordinary act of honesty when she accidentally left her wallet in a rest stop in South Dakota. At the end of her post, she asks for other peoples unlikely lost and found stories. Here's mine:
It was Springtime in New Orleans and I was an 18 year old single mom at the time. I was walking through a grocery store parking lot and I saw a bank envelop on the ground. I picked it up and it contained about five hundred dollars and several checks written out to cash. The checks didn't have a phone number printed on them but they did have an address.
It's not like I couldn't have used the money. I was still unable to work because having a baby had brought on a massive lupus flare-up that made it impossible for me to do much more than bathe and shop for groceries. Fortunately, I was living with my mother and she was helping me with expenses.
Anyway, my mom and I went home and found directions to the address on the checks and we got in the car and went to see if we could find it. When we arrived, I knocked on the door. The woman who answered the door had a red face and blood-shot eyes. It startled me, but I explained how I had found the envelop and I wanted to return it.
The woman burst into tears and called her husband to the door. She explained that she didn't realize she had lost the money until she got to the bank and couldn't find it. She and her husband were distraught because the money was supposed to pay for their booth at JazzFest and she was inside crying because she couldn't afford to replace the money she'd lost.
She opened up the envelop and expressed surprise that all of the money was still in there. It was as if she had thought I would have skimmed some off the top before returning it. She hugged me and thanked me and offered to try and get me some tickets to JazzFest. I told her that she didn't have to do that. I was just glad that I found it in time for her to have her booth.
I walked away from that door as poor as a church-mouse.
A week later, I was in the parking lot of a busy Wal-Mart store. I loaded my bags and put my almost-one-year-old baby daughter in her carrier and got inside. Getting that girl strapped into the car seat was like trying to herd cats. My mind was focused on the task at hand, to the exclusion of every other thought. We left the store and headed home.
When I got home, there was a message on the answering machine and we played it as we unloaded the groceries. There was a woman telling me that she had found my purse in the parking lot and when she saw all of the medication bottles inside, she wanted to get it back to the owner as soon as possible. The woman had already called and left a message before I had even arrived home and realized my purse wasn't with me!
It turns out she lived just two streets over from me and I was able to run over and get my purse. The woman wouldn't accept any money from me, even though I could only offer her $20.
To this day, I am truly convinced that if I had not returned that bank envelop to the owner, my own purse would not have been returned to me. My purse was worth much more than the contents of that envelop because it would have cost me hundreds of dollars to replace the medications inside of it. On top of that, I would have had to order new checks, get a new ID card, et cetera.
I believe in a Creator and I believe that the universe has a way of rewarding good actions. It may sound goofy to some, but I think that's what happened.
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
The Wiccan Rede
"Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good."