Late for a sporting event, my son and I pulled up to an Exxon on Johnson Ferry to fill his gas tank. Of course, we were running late, and I was moving on autopilot. Somehow—perhaps after I’d suffered a small stroke over the cost of a gallon of gas—my wallet ended up on the roof of my son’s car where it would remain for… oh… who can say? By the time my brain had actually switched back on, and I realized what I’d done, we were cruising up 400.
With a crash and burn feeling exploding in the pit of my stomach, I went through a mental inventory of my wallet’s contents: money, American Express, driver’s license, and—thanks to a recent trip to Human Resources—my social security card.
All the scary infomercials about identity theft that I’ve ever heard flashed through my mind and planted fear in my spirit.
I just knew that ubiquitous, bad someone was already on a spending spree at Phipps Plaza with my VISA or hopping a jet to go snorkeling on a yacht in the Bahamas. Maybe that person would access my paltry retirement, shut down my checking account, fool my husband into thinking he was married to her instead of me, steal my dog right from under my nose, and basically blot me out of existence.
But what could I do when the world started spinning further out of control except take a deep breath and comfort myself with the knowledge that a thief would surely be sadly disappointed by the state of my credit limit? Banks are closed on the weekends, and the “lost check card” telephone number only gets you a conversation with a bilingual robot that doesn’t seem capable of empathizing with panic.
Little did I know that at about the time I started popping TUMS like M & Ms at the event to which I’d been late, Martha and Katherine Siewert were also driving around town, going about their business. Katherine is a 7 th grader at Dickerson Middle School. She must have the eyes of an eagle because she spotted my wallet where it had flown off my son’s car to bounce into the grass. Rather than ignoring it, Katherine asked her mother to pull over.
Now let me tell you, finding my wallet was one thing. Going to the effort of tracking me down was quite another. Yet good people make the effort.
While I was feeling dejected by the fact that I would either have to spend hours of time on the phone canceling my life or end up destitute in a van down by the river because someone was stealing my stuff, the mother and daughter superhero duo were driving to the address on my driver’s license. In a world where time is the greatest asset, they made the choice to stop spinning in their lives for just a moment to go out of their way to help a complete stranger because… well… they thought it was the decent thing to do.
Who says we don’t live in a nice community?
Who says people aren’t kind?
Who says it is best to be cynical about the intentions of our fellow human beings?
Thank you, Martha and Katherine.
You’re out of this world, and I thank you.