Faith in Humanity: A Birthday Miracle

Today was one of those things we women of a certain age tiptoe around. My birthday. It does usually feel like a special day, but today was not off to such a good start.

For one thing, it is tough to have a birthday and not really think hard about the person who gave birth to me. And today is my first birthday without my mother. I can’t say how badly I wanted to call her, to put my arms around her and to breathe her in.

Long story short, I decided to run by my office and check a patient and then scoot on up the road to the Target in Simpsonville. I don’t know why, but I thought maybe looking at the Christmas stuff might put me in a more cheery mood. It turned out I bought only groceries and household items. Lord knows I have enough junk and clutter in the house, so not buying more…stuff…was a good move on my part.

Target is right at 30 miles from my home. I made it back shortly after my menfolk got home from church. It had the earmarks of being a long and possibly productive afternoon.

Until… I immediately discovered my purse and my cell phone were missing.

Let’s just say that my pickup truck is cluttered. Very, very cluttered. After a wild search aided by the guys, I began to realize I was not going to unearth my purse or my phone. Now Target was starting to feel 400 miles away instead of 60 miles round-trip.

Wracking my brain, I went to my computer and typed “find lost iPhone” into the search bar. Quickly I was on the Cloud searching for my phone. A little map with a green dot showed me my phone was at the intersection of Harrison Bridge Road and Fairview Road in Simpsonville. The TAR-zhaaay. I learned that I could immediately enforce a pass code on my phone and “lock” the screen. Anyone who found it would get a warning that the phone was lost and be asked to call my husband’s cell.

Still, I had worries. The purse contained my driver’s license, insurance cards, checkbook, a good sized handful of credit cards and a hundred dollars cash money.

There was nothing to do but drive back up there, hoping against hope that my purse had not been ransacked.  A student of deep breathing meditative techniques, I gulped huge breaths and forced my neck and shoulders to relax. I would get through this.

At the Target, I quickly saw that the shopping cart return bay had not been emptied but the cart I had used was devoid of my purse. I walked to the service desk, and sighed with relief when I immediately overheard the clerks discussing the “purse that was turned in.”

I have memorized many of my card numbers and expected to have to give away national security secrets to get my purse back but the ladies just needed a physical description of the purse, my name and a signature.

She smiled when she handed it to me.

“Everything’s in there,” she said. “A guest turned it in.”

I don’t doubt for a minute that someone, maybe that very Target employee had looked through my purse enough to know there were cards, a nice phone and a wad of cash in there.

The way she said, “Everything’s in there,” I knew that she knew there was cash. And I knew nobody had touched it. I didn’t even open the pockets and check until I was home.

It was a birthday miracle, one to restore one’s faith in humanity.  My mother would have smiled and pointed out that even at my (ahem) advanced age, there are still things I can learn from this world and good people in it as well.

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