I recently traveled from London to Larnaca with British Airways on a flight scheduled for 11:40. Earlier that morning, I unnecessarily woke up around 3:30; more than 8 hours before take off. Unable to return to sleep, I finally sat up in bed, opened my computer, read the news headlines on the BBC Website and scrolled down for lighter and less depressing things to read. The following human story drew my attention.
Eloise, a young woman who tragically lost her mother to a vicious illness treasured a simple heirloom which was a modest looking bracelet her mother had made out of old rings she herself inherited from her own mother. Just before dying, she gifted the bracelet to Eloise and since then, this simple piece of jewelry became Eloise’s most treasured possession. On a recent trek through Kyrgyzstan, she lost the bracelet and try hard as she might, she could not locate it before it was time for her to return to the UK. A few weeks later, she received a Facebook message from one of the guides with a picture of a bracelet, nestling in a grassy ground, asking if it was her lost bracelet. It was!
Eloise was beside herself with relief and utter joy and she actually traveled back to Kyrgyzstan to collect the bracelet in person. I am not giving the story the justice it deserves and I urge you to check it out on the BBC Website; you won’t regret it.
Anyway, I finally got up, washed, packed and got dressed. Kissed the family goodbye and drove to the Hertz Car Rental lot, handed the car over and took the bus on the short journey to Heathrow Airport. The check in was quick and painless and I was glad to get rid of the big suitcase, laden with all my Christmas presents in the trust of Heathrow Airport’s baggage handlers. I then proceeded to passport control and security.
In front of me was a woman in her thirties with an elderly gentleman (presumably her father), in a wheelchair. As is the case in most airports these days, I had to take out my computer, take off my belt, shoes overcoat and empty my pockets of all contents, put the whole lot in grey trays to have them pass through x-ray machines while I went through another machine designed for humans, and hoping I don’t trigger the alarm. Why I always feel guilty when I pass through security is beyond me since I know I have nothing to hide but; guilty is how I feel!
The young lady and wheelchair bound gentleman had their belongings go through just before mine but I went through the detector machine first, followed by the young lady and her companion was pushed through by one of the security people. Feeling exonerated, proud even, for not triggering the alarm, I walked to the end of the conveyor belt to wait for my two trays of belongings. Finally, the woman joined me and her stuff came out first. She proceeded to collect her items and either wore or stuffed them in her handbag.
Equally innocent, my trays of possessions finally emerged and I began to pack my things or put them on. The woman now turned her attention to her father. I glanced in my empty grey tray to make sure I did not drop anything and from the corner of my eye saw a simple gold bracelet in the woman’s tray. I said: ‘excuse me, is this bracelet yours?’ She turned around and with a look of horror on her face said: ‘oh yes it is! Oh my God, this is my late mother’s bracelet and I would have died if I lost it, thank you so much!’
She was visibly shaken and emotional and I felt for her more deeply than I might have done had I not read Eloise’s story a few hours earlier. Before she turned to attend to her father I said a silly thing to her:
‘If and when you get a chance, please visit the BBC Website; there is a story about a lost and found bracelet I am sure you will relate to.’
If I were more widely read I would be entitled to some sort of a commission from the BBC, LOL etc.
I know this is a simple coincidence and I have experienced many coincidences in my lifetime but, I like this one a great deal and I am glad it happened to me; it’s nice to see a happy ending where a major personal tragedy was averted.
I wish Eloise and the lady at Heathrow Airport a Happy New Year and may they never be parted from their precious heirlooms.