by Robert Gerhart
A close friend of mine, 88 years old and a widower, regularly listened to church services broadcast live on the radio from California every Sunday. He hoped to sometime travel there from his home in Houston, Texas to attend a service in person.
My wife and I discussed it and decided that, although it was a great responsibility, we could take him there for Easter weekend.
Once there, we all enjoyed the services and had a great time. Monday morning our son drove us to Los Angeles International Airport to catch an early flight. My son let us out in front of the terminal. Upon entering the terminal we learned our flight had been cancelled and we wouldn’t be able to get another flight until 5 p.m. I called my son to let him know about the situation, and though I discouraged him, he wanted to take us out for lunch.
We went to a nice, busy restaurant where we waited for a seat. When our name was called, my friend noticed he was missing his wallet. We apologized to the waitress and left immediately to return to the airport.
Everyone else stayed in the car while I went to the terminal where we’d been. I questioned the airline staff, who said all I could do was to go to Lost and Found. As I expected, Lost and Found said they didn’t have the wallet. I went back to the car, gave them the sad news, and as there was nothing else we could do we went back to the restaurant for lunch.
On the flight back to Houston I tried to console my friend and convince him to just put this loss behind him, as the chances of getting the wallet back were practically zero. His wallet had held $400, a credit card, a Medicare card, and his driver’s license.
Tuesday morning he went to the Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new driver’s license, but the lady in the office was not helpful and he was very discouraged.
The next evening my friend called to say he’d received a call from a Houston hospital saying they’d been contacted by someone at the Los Angeles airport. That person had found his wallet and was mailing it to him. Apparently they’d found information in the wallet showing he’d been a patient at that hospital.
I told him it would be wonderful to get the wallet back, but cautioned him not to expect the money to be there. Surprisingly, the next day he received the wallet with the money and contents intact. He had hoped to contact the woman who had sent the wallet back to him, thought to be an employee of Delta Airlines, but was never able to locate her.
For me this was almost unbelievable, but there really still are good folks in our world, aren’t there? If you’re reading, kind Delta employee, thanks for the wallet and the upgrade — of our expectations.