Letter, ring prove it: Genuinely good folks still exist

Published 12:42 am Saturday, November 15, 2014

Last weekend, my brother and his family drove to Pennsylvania for a wedding in my sister-in-law’s family. Yesterday, he shared with us that – as a result of that trip – he is reassured that there is goodness in the world.

“We intentionally built in two travel days each way so that we would not need to hurry, and would have the ability to take the byways and stop on a whim,” Chris wrote. “Last Sunday morning, we left Pennsylvania with the goal of reaching Johnson City, Tenn., to spend the night.

“We made it. But our first stop on that leg of the trip was the West Virginia Welcome Center on I-77 at the Ohio-West Virginia border. As we pulled in, Christopher said, ‘Daddy, will you throw the football with me?’ “

As there is a decades-old tradition in our family of keeping children calm by burning energy at welcome centers, Chris agreed.

“Christopher and I got out on a grassy area that had not been mowed in a week or two to throw the football. It conjured up memories of long trips with Daddy, where during the stops, he would take a jog around the perimeter to ‘get the blood flowing.’

“So after about a dozen exchanges, I reached down to catch a low throw by Christopher, and my wedding band flew off of my finger,” he said. “I immediately said ‘Stop!,’ and marked the spot with a small pile of leaves.”

An extended search was to no avail, and eventually they gave up, but not before talking to the attendant on duty. She agreed to take their information “in case they found it.”

Yesterday – only five days later – they miraculously received the wedding band in the mail, with a wonderful note.

“I had such a heavy heart when you left the welcome center without your husband’s ring,” a woman named Debbie wrote. “A short time after you left, I remembered that I had bought my grandson a metal detector for Christmas last year. Since he lives not too far from the center, I went and borrowed it, came back and began looking for the ring. I was afraid if the ring wasn’t found that day, it might never be found.”

After 20 minutes and a few false bleeps, she said, the detector clearly hit on something.

“Buried down in the thick grass not too far from the sidewalk was the ring. … Even though it was one ring, it was like finding a long lost, buried treasure just to be able to return it where it belongs.”

Chris summed up the story this way: “In case you – like I – ever doubt it, there are still some genuinely good people among us.”

Amen, and amen.