Miracle Wallet

Miracle Wallet

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

Miracle Wallet

We are here not only to learn about love, but to also support and teach our fellow travelers on this journey.

Mary Manin Morressey

As a military wife of sixteen years, I stay quite busy and have little time for reflection. As a mother of three children and a nurse with a small teaching job, you can guess I don’t often think about times past. Over the years, we have traveled and lived in many different places, and there have been many people who have touched our lives in ways that I will never forget. Despite hectic schedules, sometimes a story needs to be shared with others.

We were stationed at Fort Campbell outside of Clarksville, Tennessee, only three hours away from our hometown of Florence, Alabama. My husband was on temporary duty in Africa, and I thought I would take my two girls home for a few days to give them some time with their grandparents. I needed a break, and four-year-old Bethany and ten-year-old Sydney would enjoy the trip.

One crisp, clear spring morning, we set out for home in our small station wagon. After an hour on the road, I pulled off the interstate at Brentwood and stopped at a gas station. A while later, I needed to stop again to buy some snacks for the girls. I reached for my wallet to get change . . . and it was gone. No!

I thought about the gas station where I had stopped earlier. Okay, I thought, trying to calm myself in front of the children, think! Into the station . . . bought juice after the bathroom . . . then out to the car . . . strapped Bethany in . . . The wallet! I put it on top of the car beside the luggage rack! Oh no! I already knew the answer but stole a quick look at the top of the car to confirm it wasn’t still there.

I did a quick mental inventory. As a military dependent, my identification card was vital to my survival in everyday life, especially with my husband gone. Also, my Social Security card, driver’s license and my adopted daughter’s green card were in there! I couldn’t easily replace that! It was the longest drive to Florence, and I reluctantly told my in-laws about the wallet I left on top of my car.

My father-in-law and I hurried to call the Brentwood police. They hadn’t heard of anyone turning in my wallet but promised to look around the gas station and ask the attendants there if anyone had turned it in.

I knew in my mind that there was little to no possibility of my wallet being found, much less returned to me, as I had no current address or phone numbers in it, thanks to our many military moves.

The next day, the phone rang. The girl said she was calling from the Blockbuster Video in Florence. She asked my name and if I had a Blockbuster card in my wallet.

“Yes,” I answered, very puzzled.

“Someone has found your wallet and is waiting here at our store. Can you come? They’ll be outside waiting for you.”

“Of course! I’ll be right there!” I scrambled out the door, totally confused, amazed and happy. As I pulled up into the parking lot, I saw a station wagon with three people sitting in the back with the hatch up, two women and a man. I stepped out of the car, and the younger lady came up to me and asked, “Are you Lisa?”

It seems the couple and her mother were on a day trip from Tennessee to the Dismals, a nature park in northwest Alabama. As her mom said, “I have this bad smokin’ habit, and I guess the good Lord’s tryin’ to tell me somethin’ ’cause I caught myself on fire as we pulled the car back onto the interstate from Brentwood. I pulled over to jump out and brush off the ashes, and as I was walking behind the car I saw your wallet.”

At this point she scolded me. “Honey, you need to promise me to put your address and phone number in your wallet ’cause we couldn’t find anything but that Blockbuster card to possibly help us find you!”

This family went out of their way to find the Blockbuster Video with the hope of the store being able to find me. I hadn’t used that card, having gotten it in Florence on a previous visit, but the account had a phone number! Luckily for me, the most logical route from Tennessee to the Dismals goes right through . . . Florence, Alabama.

Of course, I thanked them profusely, but I still regret that I never thought to get their address. That kind act reminded me that there are truly honest people in our world, no matter how bleak things seem when we read the newspaper.

So, to that certain family of three, you seemed more like angels to me. If you are reading this story, I thank you again for your honesty, caring and kindness.

And to the mom in the group: my phone number and address are now in my wallet, updated with every move!

Lisa Cobb

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