Most gifts come as a surprise as the item is unwrapped. But when one woman received a new wallet from her mom, she got more of a surprise than she bargained for.
It was just before Christmas when Ishbel Orr was shopping for a gift to give her daughter, Hollie. While in the apparel store TK Maxx, similar to the American version TJ Maxx, Orr happened upon a wallet.
‘It was a similar purse to the one I already had so I decided it was nice,” Orr said. “The back of the purse was fixed into a gift box so I didn’t even look at all the compartments.”
So Orr purchased the wallet and wrapped it up to give to her daughter.
But when Hollie opened up the gift on Christmas Day, she received quite the shock when she realized what was inside one of the inner compartments.
There were several vintage photos of people she didn’t know, several obituaries, rare Jack Nicklaus fivers, and other older items that were hidden inside the presumably new wallet.
“The whole family was amazed by what she found because some of those pictures were quite old and obituaries too,” said Orr.
Knowing that someone must be missing these dear items, Orr and daughter Hollie set out to crack the mystery of who these items belonged to.
A week later, the owner of the precious items, Jeanette McQuillian, was found. Thanks to the help of social media, McQuillian was found via a “lost property page.”
“A friend of Jeanette’s saw a post written by my work colleague and got in touch with her becuase she recognized the photos,” said Orr. But the solution to this mystery was made even more bizarre, yet special because of one significant piece.
“The day we found Jeanette was actually the 24th anniversary of her dad’s death and his photo was among the other items so that added to the specialness of it,” Orr recalled. “It was extra nice.”
When McQuillian realized the wallet wouldn’t close, she returned it to the store in its box, not realizing what she had left inside. But now she is grateful to be reuinted with such precious memories of the past.
“It was so special to discover someone wanted to reunite me with the photographs and clippings… I was gobsmacked,” McQuillian said.
“I hadn’t actually realized what I had lost because I always took for granted that it was in my purse, whichever one I had.”
Among the photos was also a picture of her son, now 42 years old, when he was just a young boy.
What seemed as a bizarre discovery inside a new item from mom turned into a reunion of precious memories. Thanks to a little detective work and the power of giving, one small gift on Christmas Day turned into the gift that kept on giving.
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