A found – and returned – wallet helps renew hope

CELEFANT2-womens-wallet-2__46269.1323709094.1280.1280The call came just after I’d walked in from a trip to the supermarket.

The woman announced that she was from my bank. A fraud alert? A mortgage loan pitch?

No, on both counts.

“I’m calling because someone found your wallet in the shopping cart at Kroger. They’re standing in the parking lot with it.”

Nah, that couldn’t be true. I never leave my wallet anywhere.  Except my wallet wasn’t on the kitchen counter, or the table, or in the car.

“I’ll be right there,” said, rushing and not doing what has come naturally to me for decades – asking questions.

So as I drove back to the store, I realized that I didn’t get a description of this angel who found a bankcard and called my bank rather than keep the cash, use the cards and toss the wallet. I realized that I didn’t have a name so that I could send flowers or a card or say thank-you.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I didn’t see anyone standing around waiting for a frantic woman in a Paul McCartney concert shirt to show up. I parked and walked in to customer service. I had to stand in line.

Finally, when it was my turn, I told the clerk that I was there to pick up my –

“There it is!” I said, pointing to my open wallet on the counter behind her.

She picked it up, looked at it handed it to me.

“You don’t need anything, to ask me anything?”

“No,” she said with a smile. “I can see that it’s you.”

Of course, the driver’s license that I had just driven to Kroger without.

I asked about the person who brought it in. She didn’t know anything about them. It was handed to her. But in that small moment, a moment that became so very big, a single person affirmed that there is hope.

Now, I’m stuck wanting to express huge amounts of gratitude to someone who could have ruined my life but instead made my day. I’d like to at least buy him or her lunch or groceries. But all I can do is offer a public thank-you to someone who didn’t just give me back my wallet. They reminded me – and everyone I tell this story – that the world still has good people, honest people, caring people.

And we shouldn’t forget it.