The Wallet

Last week, I wrote about the things people leave behind in estates.  This week, I want to share with you a special find that not only surprised the daughter when I presented it to her, but helped to heal an old, yet still open, wound.

Their dad had died over 30 years ago, and the daughter had shared with me how very special dad was, and how she could feel his presence while she was disassembling the family home.  While going through a pile of stuff the realtor moved aside to stage the home, I found dad’s wallet and knew I had to keep it for the daughter.

The moment I opened the wallet, I remember being greeted by a kind face on the driver’s license staring back at me.  The wallet was filled with oodles of photos of his children and grandchildren.  I instinctively knew he was someone special.  So when I handed it to his daughter at the completion of our job, you could see the joy in her face.  We had indeed found a treasure among the ruins of taking apart the home.  It had been particularly rough for her, so this was like the prize at the bottom of the box — that special slice of serendipity that plops on your lap when you least expect it.  I love it when that happens.

Little did I know when she called me the next day, she had discovered a special order to the photographs in dad’s wallet.  Her brother’s photo was the first one, and underneath were stacked photos of her, her mom, grandkids, etc.  Instead of being bothered by that, she said the most amazing thing.  Her brother had battled a substance abuse problem in his youth that caused upheaval in the family and I can only assume the same for his interpersonal relationships.  And while the sibling had long been clean and sober, dad never lived long enough to see the wonderful person his son turned out to be.

Even though dad had been gone over three decades, he still had a message of love to send to both of his children.  The message was loud and clear: At a time when a parent is pushed to the limit of love and understanding in dealing with a substance issue, he never gave up on believing in or loving his son.

Today, I understand that son is an incredible man who found his inner strength and now helps others do the same.  May the finding of this small, yet powerful item bring both children peace and emotional closure, knowing how much their father loved them!

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