Just over a week ago, my son's winter coat (still in great condition) was taken from the locker room at the pool. (Read about it here)
I contacted the pool, every other day for a week, to see if someone returned the coat. No luck.
My faith, that the coat was taken by mistake, was beginning to wane. I felt compelled to accept the sad fact that the coat might really have been stolen. (kapparat avonot -- it's all for the best, some sort of atonement for our sins)
Then, exactly one week later, as I was leaving the pool, I stopped by the Health Club desk to say hello. In passing, I asked the woman if, by any chance, someone had turned in a boy's winter coat. Just as she responded in the negative, I noticed a thick blue coat hanging on some hooks.
I asked her about the coat. She didn't recognize it, but said it could belong to one of the many people who work there.
She got up, lifted the coat off the hook, and showed it to me. I wasn't certain that I recognized the coat. (What can I say? I remembered that his coat was blue, and had a hood; but I didn't remember specific details about the coat. It’s the chemo....)
As she returned the coat to the hook, I suddenly remembered that I had labeled my son's coat. If it was his coat, then I would be able to find our name somewhere (though I didn't remember where, exactly, I wrote it).
I asked to see the coat up close.
The woman was skeptical (our name was nowhere obvious), but she brought me the coat.
Sure enough, though it was difficult to read the black marker on the dark blue lining, our family name was clearly written. Once one knows what to look for, anyone can see it.
Thus my faith in humanity was restored. The person who took my son's winter coat really did take it by mistake.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,