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Lost and Found

Recently, as I browsed the items in a small antique shop, I paused at a box of old sepia toned family photos. I’m sure there are family members somewhere who would die to have those photos, yet, they ended up in a stranger’s hands. I flipped them over, but there was no identification on the backs of the photos — no way for me to find their rightful owners, which made me sad.

Seeing the photos reminded me of a story that my friend, Ed Huey, shared with me years ago. With Ed’s permission, I present his story to you.

Ed’s father died of a heart attack at a traffic light in Louisiana in 1974. His divorce from Ed’s mother and marriage to his third wife had caused a bitter rift in the family that was never repaired. Ed and his sister were never offered any of their father’s belongings after his death.

Then one day in 2010, Ed’s phone rang and the caller asked, “Is this Mr. Lynn E. Huey, Jr.?”

Ed almost hung up thinking it was a telemarketer.

“Are you Lynn Huey? Please don’t hang up, I have something that belongs to you.”

Ed grew irritated, but he listened.

“My name is Michael. I found your father’s wallet. I’ve been contacting all the Lynn Hueys I could find. When I found Lynn Huey, Jr., I had a feeling.”

Michael said he was in Melbourne, Florida, browsing an antique store and saw a wallet on a shelf for $10. He opened it and found identification, family pictures, membership cards, even a voter registration card for Lynn E. Huey. He thought it very curious that an intact billfold was in a location so remote from the address listed on the driver’s license, Bossier City, Louisiana, but he placed it back on the shelf and left the store.

As he reached the sidewalk, the stranger kept thinking about the billfold. He couldn’t let it go. That billfold belonged to someone. He went back and purchased it thinking he would find the Huey family and return it to them.

Ed was speechless for several seconds. He did not have anything that belonged to his father.

The stranger offered to mail the wallet to Ed. When he got to the UPS store, he shared the story with the manager, who sent the package for free.

The swank, genuine cowhide, trifold, continued from page

black billfold with the accordion card windows arrived at Ed’s house a few days later. All available card windows were occupied with his driver’s license, employment photo ID, Masonic Lodge card, golf club membership, bank ID, family pictures, assorted reminders for medical appointments — all up to date for 1974.

Michael enclosed a letter: Mr. Huey, In life we all have angels that watch over us, wherever we go and whatever we do. Also in life there are times where a stranger will pop into your life and change things, even just a little, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. This time was for the better. Today, I found something that belongs to your family, and I did not believe that it was right to leave it on that shelf in that store. It belongs in your home, in your hands. When you said that you do not have anything of your father’s, I choked up a little, and I knew I did the right thing. Sorry it took me so long to find it, but today, as you read this, you hold in your possession the very thing that your father took with him everywhere. It has his important identifications, and most of all, his pictures of what I am thinking are your kids. I am sure you will want to tell this story to family, so here are the details. I found this at an old antique store in Melbourne, Florida, in October 2010. I contacted a Lynn Huey in Alabama, a female, and she said that she was married into the Huey family, but was no relation. Then I went to the white pages and found you, Jr., and had a good feeling that you are who I needed to speak with.

My father is my best friend and I know one day I will have to say goodbye to him. That will be a sad day. Today, you can say hello again to yours, through memories, and keep a part of him with you forever.

Thank you for not hanging up the phone today and God Bless you and your family.

Sincerely, Michael M.

Ed will never know how his daddy’s billfold got to that store in Melbourne, Florida, but thanks to a stranger named Michael, it found its way home to family — to a son who feels more at peace knowing that he has one keepsake from his father’s life. Was lost, but now, is found.

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