Mary Garby of Glenview, Illinois had a family keepsake, a diamond tennis bracelet that her father had given to her mother for their 37th wedding anniversary. Her mother had eventually given the bracelet to Mary. It had 39 diamonds and was appraised at $25,000. If I owned a bracelet worth that much, I don't think I would ever wear it (!), but Mary frequently did even though it was uninsured. But, on Friday, January 5, 2007, she lost it.
"I had been to Walgreen's in Glenview, the Great Frame-up in Morton Grove, Sunset Foods in Northbrook…" Just a typical errand day for Mary, but she hadn't realized the bracelet was gone until she got ready for bed that evening. "At 11:30 that night, Tom and I got back in the car and went to five stores to check the parking lots and sidewalks, but no bracelet was found." Mary alerted the police from three different suburbs, and they all took reports. "It only takes one honest person," one of the officers reminded Mary. Yes, but it was also like looking for a needle in a haystack.
On Saturday, January 6, Mary called all the stores, but no bracelet had been turned in. (She also called her mother--that must have been a difficult conversation).
On Sunday, January 7, Mary and Tom put up flyers in five stores and offered a reward.
On Monday, January 8, Mary asked her employer, an admitted atheist, to say a prayer for the jewelry's return. Later that day, he came to her desk and said, "Mary, I hope you get your miracle."
On Tuesday, January 9, Mary was late to work. As she hurried into the office, she learned that a co-worker had been diagnosed with cancer. Thoughts of the bracelet completely left Mary's mind. What was this problem compared with her friend's? The day was difficult, but when Mary dragged herself home, there was a note on the table from the Glenview police department.
A woman named Barbara had found the bracelet on the sidewalk outside the Northbrook Walgreen's. She had taken it to a nearby jeweler who had sent her to the Northbrook police who then sent her to the Glenview police. The evidence technician had met with the woman for a half hour and had been amazed at Barbara's integrity and her willingness to go out of her way to find the bracelet's owner. No, she was not a heavenly angel, but certainly one of the best earthly kind. "All it takes is one honest person," the police officer had said—and he was right.
On Wednesday, January 10, Mary brought proof of ownership to the police station and received her bracelet back, in perfect condition. "There are a lot of people I have thanked for this," Mary says, "including the Carmelite nuns and Padre Pio, who interceded for me. But I tell the story to share hope and inspiration because miracles really do happen."