As I walked home one very cold day, I came on a wallet somebody had lost in the road. I picked it up and viewed inside to find some I’d. so I could call the owner. But the wallet included only three dollars and a crumpled letter that seemed as if it had been in there for years.
The package was worn and the only thing that was readable on it was the come back address. I began to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline–1924. The letter had been written nearly 60 years ago.
It was composed in a wonderful feminine handwriting on powdered blue stationary with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a “Dear John” letter that told the receiver, whose name showed up to be Michael, that the writer could not see him any longer because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him.
It was a wonderful letter, but there was no way apart from for the name Michael, that the owner could be recognized. Maybe if I called details, the operator could find a phone record for the address on the envelope.
“Operator,” I began, “this is an uncommon request. I’m trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is there in any case you can tell me if there is a phone number for an deal with that was on an envelope in the wallet?”
She recommended I speak with her owner, who hesitated for a moment then said, “Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can’t give you the number.” She said, as a politeness, she would call that number, explain my story and would ask them if they desired her to connect me.
I waited a few minutes and then she was back on the line. “I have a party who will speak with you.”
I requested the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped, “Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a girl named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!”
“Would you know where that family could be located now?” I asked.
“I keep in mind that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago,” the woman said. “Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to monitor down the daughter.”
She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they believed the daughter might be living.
I thanked them and contacted. The woman who responded to explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.
This whole thing was ridiculous, I thought to myself. Why was I creating such a big deal over discovering the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?
However, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was expected to be living and the man who responded to the phone told me, “Yes, Hannah is staying with us.”
Even although it was already 10 p.m., I 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 day room viewing television.”
I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a guard welcomed me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large building. In the day room, the nurse presented me to Hannah.
She was a lovely, silver-haired old-timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye. I told her about discovering the wallet and showed her the letter. The 2nd 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 get in touch with I ever had with Michael.”
She seemed 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 good looking. He seemed like Sean Connery, the actor.”
“Yes,” she ongoing. “Michael Goldstein was an amazing person. If you should find him, tell him I think of him often. And,” she hesitated for a moment, almost biting down hard her lip, “tell him I still love him. You know,” she said happy as tears began to well up in her eyes, “I never did marry. I guess no one ever matched up to Michael…”
I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the lift to the first floor and as I was standing by the door, the guard there asked, “Was the old lady able to help you?”
I told him she had given me a lead. “At minimum I have a last name. But I think I’ll let it go for a while. I spent nearly the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet.”
I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, “Hey, wait a minute! That’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anyplace with that bright red lacing. He’s always dropping that wallet. I must have found it in the halls at least three times.” “Who’s Mr. Goldstein?” I asked as my hand began to shake.
“He’s one of the old-timers on the 8th floor. That’s Mike Goldstein’s wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks.” I thanked the guard and swiftly ran back to the nurse’s office. I told her what the guard had said. We went back to the lift and got on. I prayed that Mr. Goldstein would be up.
On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, “I think he’s continuing to in the day room. He loves to read at night. He’s a beloved old man.”
We went to the only room that had any lighting on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein seemed up with shock, put his hand in his back pocket and said, “Oh, it is losing!”
“This kind gentleman found a wallet and we considered if it could be yours?”
I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, “Yes, that’s it! It must have slipped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward.”
“No, thank you,” I said. “But I have to tell you one thing. I read the letter in the hope of discovering out who owned the wallet.”
The smile on his face instantly disappeared. “You read that letter?”
“Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is.”
He instantly grew pale. “Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me,” he pleaded.
“She’s fine…just as fairly as when you knew her.” I said softly.
The old man smiled with expectancy and asked, “Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her the next day.” He got my hand and said, “You know something, Mister? I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life basically ended. I never wedded. I guess I’ve always loved her.”
“Mr. Goldstein,” I said, “Come with me.”
We took the lift down to the third floor. The halls were darkened and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to her.
“Hannah,” she said softly, directing to Michael, who was waiting with me in the doorway. “Do you know this man?”
She fine-tuned her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn’t say a word. Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, “Hannah, its Michael. Do you remember me?”
She gasped, “Michael! I don’t believe it! Michael! It’s you! My Michael!” He walked gradually towards her and they appreciated. The nurse and I left with tears streaming down our faces.
“See,” I said. “See how the Good Lord works! If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
About three weeks later I got a call at my workplace 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 wonderful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed up to join in the party. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their best man.