When my Grandmother graduated from High School, her mother was a waitress at the old “Falls Café” in Granite Falls. Her mother purchased a watch as a gift for her graduation, having made payments on it for some time. She had the watch engraved with Grandma’s name on the back. Grandma’s mother passed away when I was very young.

Whenever Grandma dresses up or “goes to town” she still wears this watch. A number of years ago, for Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding anniversary, their children had the band on her watch replaced.

Then last week, Grandma and Grandpa went “to town” on a shopping trip. As they were driving home, Grandma realized her watch was missing. It wasn’t in their van. She had only been to two stores. She was so upset. She told my children about what had happened to her, and when I was in “town” shopping the next night, my son told me how much his heart hurt for Grandma because she lost her watch while shopping. I called Grandma to confirm, and she said yes indeed, she’d lost the watch somewhere between the Stuff-Mart and the Grocery Store. I checked both stores lost-and-found departments that evening with no luck. When I got home, I posted an advertisement on a local classified site. The next day, I went to town again and checked the lost-and-found departments yet again, and then went as far as to walk through the parking lots of both stores, scouring the ground, looking under cars. Then went into the stores and looked up and down every aisle under the shelves. Still nothing. The next day, again and still nothing. It was now Sunday and I was assuming, having heard nothing by then, we probably never would. My heart ached for Grandma. She was so distraught about this watch. “When I realized it was gone it was just like I lost my mother all over again,” she said. I would have done anything to get that watch back to her.

That night, just as the kids were sitting down to supper, my phone rang. Somehow I knew I needed to run to the phone – I wasn’t expecting any calls. It turned out it was a police officer from the “in town” police department. He explained his story – someone actually found the watch the day she lost it in the Stuff-Mart parking lot. The person who found the watch brought it across town to the police department. From there, the officer attempted to locate the owner based on the name inscribed on the back. The problem was, the name was my grandmother’s maiden name. Not being able to locate the owner, he made no more calls. Then, he happened to be browsing the online classifieds site and saw my ad!

I was so excited, I could hardly breathe. I left my husband and kids sitting around the dinner table and rushed over to Grandma’s house. “Do you want to go with me to Marshall?” I asked. “Why would I want to go to Marshall at this time of night?” she seemed confused. “To get your watch!” I nearly yelled.

When we got to town and the officer walked into the lobby holding it she nearly screamed “That’s it!” (I think he jumped a little). There was a lot of talking and laughing while we did the appropriate paperwork for her to take her watch. The watch had only suffered the damage of a broken clasp, which is what had caused the watch to escape her wrist in the first place. It had managed to make it through it’s time in the parking lot without being run over.

On the way home, she was still talking excitedly. “I don’t even think I’ll be able to sleep tonight! I was just so sure it was gone! I was just so sure I’d never see it again!”

It blew my mind how someone actually took the time, on finding the watch, to bring it across town to the police station. Many times I’ve watched people walk past something in a parking lot, glance at it and keep going. There was a thought while it was missing, also, that someone could have perhaps found it and kept it or sold it, due to its age. I’ve found things before, and always made a point to bring them in to the store’s lost and found, but come to think about it – in a case like this, it’s doubtful the store would have even looked for her and had she been many places, she may not have remembered about where it was lost….

Sometimes it seems like people in general more and more lose their compassion for others or an ability to sympathize or empathize with others. When something like this happens, you know there are those out there willing to go out of their way for a stranger. It’s a good thing to keep in mind.Image