there are still good people in this world. As I share this story of goodness with you, the Golden Rule comes to mind – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
My husband David enjoys the sport of hunting in November. Last year, he had started a new project in Saudi Arabia and was unable to make his annual hunt. He spent the past year, looking forward to this November as he planned to take the whole month off and come back to Maine. Honestly, he was like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning…..he shopped online for the proper clothing, various hunting gadgets and had them sent to our home. He certainly kept UPS in business last year!
He flew back to the states at the end of October and together, we organized his gear so he would be ready for his first day of the hunting season. He had made arrangements to go with a guide in the Augusta, Maine area for the first week in November. Monday, October 30th was to be his first day.
Unfortunately, Maine was hit with a horrific storm October 30th. We experienced hurricane force winds and heavy rain. Bridges were washed out and throughout the state, close to 500,000 people lost their electricity. David waited for the worse of the storm to pass and left to meet his guide, Jay who lives in the rural community of Pittston, Maine.
David had all of his brand new gear in a large, plastic storage container in the back of his pick-up truck. On his way over to Jay’s home, the tailgate came down and the container fell out. David didn’t discover it until he got to Jay’s. He called me in a panic….this was brand new clothing and equipment that had never been used, it was the first day of a hunting season that he had waited all year for and now, he had lost everything. Everything, that is, except for his rifle….so, I guess, it could have been worse!
David and Jay retraced the route that David had taken and didn’t find anything. To help, I called the local police, sheriff and state police departments to report the lost items, with the hopes that someone might turn them in. (Of course, neither David nor I thought to put identification on anything) I felt a little foolish as people were dealing with much bigger issues due to the storm.
I also posted on Facebook what had happened and asked friends to share my post in hopes that it would reach a larger group of people. Thanks to many caring and helpful people, the post was shared over 140 times! Ads were placed in the local newspaper, Craig’s list, “Uncle Henrys Classified Magazine” and flyers were put around in the local country stores. A reward was offered.
David did hunt for the time he had hired his guide but losing his equipment really dampened his spirits. I felt so badly for him. He had been working so hard getting the phase of his work project finished by the deadline….so much so, that he had worked 4 months straight (10-12 hour days, 7 days a week) and had only had one week off during that time. Focusing on his time off in November kept him going and then, he lost his equipment the first day…..
After a week, I tried to help him look for something positive in the whole situation and to just let it go. It says in the Bible, ““Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7 verses 7-8). With nothing else to do, we prayed and ask God to return his gear. I also tried to help David put it in perspective….if whomever found the container and decided to keep it, it was my hope that they might really have needed a warm winter coat for the upcoming season.
A week passed and I honestly thought that we were not meant to get the items back. Saturday afternoon, I was looking at my Facebook page and noticed I had a private message – David’s gear had been found. It was a “family affair” to get in touch with us. Sarah Rideout, of Whitefield, had found the container in the middle of the road shortly after David had lost it. She stopped and had put everything in the trunk of her car. Her son-in-law, Al Arbour, saw my posting on Facebook and contacted me. I spoke with Al’s wife, Felicia – Sarah’s daughter and the rest, as they say it, is history! David and I immediately went to Sarah’s home, gave the reward money and he got all of his equipment back.
The day after our ordeal had a happy ending; my dear friend, Diane, who lives in Dubai; shared on her Facebook page that she had inadvertently left her cell phone in a public place and didn’t realize it for a couple of hours. Frantic, she retraced her steps to see if she might be lucky enough to find it. As she did this, she learned that someone was searching for the owner of a phone that they had found. It was a gentleman from Pakistan and his female co-worker. They had been visiting all the nearby stores and businesses trying to find the owner of the lost cell phone. Diane said that it was very obvious that neither of these honest and kind people would have the means to buy such an expensive phone. How easy it would have been for them to keep it. When Diane finally found them, they would not accept any reward money or her offer to buy them lunch. They only accepted a “thank you” as they felt they were only doing the right thing.
Every day, we are bombarded with such negative stories from Hollywood, our government, tragic shootings and accidents. It is uplifting to share these stories. So, when you become overwhelmed by all the negative news, I hope you will remember that there are wonderful, kind, honest, hard-working and caring people in this world. Believe that something good comes from something bad and try to be GRATEFUL for all things.
Blessings to your and yours this Thanksgiving.