SERENDIPITY FOR SATURDAY

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EVERLASTING LOVE

I found this story on a website, and it touched my heart so I hope it touches yours. The writer did not give his name, but I’m glad he shared this story so all of us could be moved by everlasting love.

The gentleman who shared this was telling about how many years ago he spotted a wallet laying in the parking lot of a grocery store not too far from where he worked. He stopped, bent over, picked it up, hoping to find the identity of the owner inside. All he found was three dollars and folded up the envelope. So he quickly unfolded the envelope but the mailing address had faded out, only a return address label remained. He then opened the envelope to see if the owner’s name might be inside.

The letter had been written in beautiful feminine handwriting on a powder blue stationery with a little flower in the upper left-hand corner. It was a “Dear John”” letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the writer could not see him anymore because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him. It was signed, “Hannah.” He looked again at the letter and saw that it had been written in 1924. He quickly calculated the time and saw that it had been penned some sixty years ago.

He said it was a beautiful letter, but there was no way, except for the name Michael, that the owner could be identified. This was before the internet and Google, so he thought of calling the operator to see if there was still a phone listing for the return address on the envelope. He told her how he found the wallet, and why he was so interested in getting it back into the hands of the owner. The operator told him that she would be unable to help him because that information was private. But he insisted that they give him some clue as to where he could call to see if that individual was still there. The operator told him she’d have to speak to her manager. After a few seconds, the manager came on the line and asked how she could help him.“Miss,” he began, “I know this is an unusual request. I’m trying to find the owner of a lost wallet that I found. Is there any way you can tell me if there is a phone number for a return address that was on an envelope in the wallet? She agreed to call the number listed and tell them about the wallet and see if they knew who it belonged to.

He waited a few minutes and then the operator came back on the line. “I have a party who will speak with you who lives at that address.” A lady came on the line and so he asked her if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah who once lived at that address. She gasped, “Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!” “Would you know where that family could be located now? he asked. “I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago,” the woman said. “Maybe if you got in touch with her there, maybe she might be able to help you find her daughter.”

She gave him the name telephone number of the nursing home and he called the number. They told him the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living. He thanked them and phoned. The lady who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in another nursing home. By this time, he was wondering if all of this was worth his time. Why make such a fuss over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?

Nevertheless, he called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told him, “Yes, we have a Hannah staying with us.” He discovered that the nursing home was only blocks away from the grocery store where he found the wallet. Even though it was already late in the day, he asked if I could come by to see her. “Well,” he said hesitatingly, “if you want to take a chance, she might be in the dayroom watching television.”

He thanked the man and drove over to the nursing home. The nurse at the desk and a security guard greeted him at the door. They accompanied him down the hallway to a large day room where the nurse introduced him to Hannah. She was a sweet, silver-haired lady with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye. He introduced himself and told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, “Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael.”

She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said Softly, “I loved him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor.” Then she continued. “Michael Goldstein is his name, and he was a wonderful person. If you should ever find him to give him his wallet back, tell him I think of him every day. And, she hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip, “Tell him, I still love him.” She smiled as tears began to well up in her eyes. She explained that she remained single because she never met anyone who measured up to Michael.

He thanked Hannah and said goodbye. As he walked by the front desk toward the door, he still had the wallet in his hand. The guard asked if the elderly lady was able to help him. He told him she had given me a lead. “At least now he had a last name. But I think I’ll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet.” It was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he exclaimed, “Hey, wait a minute! That’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anywhere with that bright red lacing. He’s always losing that wallet. I must have found it in the hallways and outside at least a dozen times.”

When he heard the name “Goldstein” the man’s hands began to tremble. “You know Mr. Goldstein?” The guard nodded “yes.” Do you happen to know his first name, the man asked. The guard told him that his name was Michael but everyone called him Mike. His room is over on the south wing. He quickly thanked the guard and ran back to the nurse’s station. He told her what the guard had said. So this time the nurse led him to the south wing where they came to Michael’s room. She said that Michael was a darling old man and that he liked to read at night.

We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man sitting in a chair reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, “Oh my, it’s missing!” “This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?” He handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, “Yes, that’s it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward.” “No, thank you,” he said. “But I have to tell you something. I hope you’re not mad but I read the letter in hopes of finding out who owned the wallet.”

The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. “You read that letter?” The man replied, “Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is.” The old man suddenly grew pale. “Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me,” he begged. “She’s fine…just as pretty as when you knew her,” he said softly. The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, “Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow.” Michael then grabbed the man’s hand and said, “You know something, mister, I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I’ve always loved her.”

At this point, the man began to get very giddy with excitement. So he said, “Mr. Goldstein, would you like to come with me. I’ll show you where Hannah is.” Michael trembled as he rose to his feet. They went to the nurses’ station and then over to the north wing of the nursing. The hallways were empty now and only one or two little lights were on in various rooms. They made their way to Hannah’s room where she was sitting watching the television.

The nurse walked over to her. “Hannah,” she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting in the doorway, you have a special visitor. Hannah adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn’t say a word. Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, “Hannah, it’s me, Michael. Do you still remember me?” She gasped, “Michael! I don’t believe it! Michael! It’s you! My Michael!” He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and the man quietly left with tears streaming down our faces. “See,” he said to the nurse. “See how the Good Lord works! If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

About three weeks later the man got a call at his office from the nursing home… “Can you break away on Sunday to attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!” It was a beautiful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed up to join in the celebration. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made him their best man. The hospital gave them their own room and if you ever wanted to see a 76-year-old bride and a 79-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had to see this couple.

As I read this story, I thought of how much I loved Jesus the day He came into my life. That was almost 74 years ago. But I’ve only seen pictures of Him, and I don’t really know what He actually looks like. But He made a promise that one day He would come to take me to where He lives so that I can be in His presence for eternity. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait until that day comes when at last I will meet my Jesus face to face. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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