Layla’s Mixed Sorts

November 17, 2008

Saying Thank You

Filed under: Life — laylanajia @ 12:29 am



Today something happened that just warmed my heart. I received a letter from someone saying Thank you.

Last June I was in New York for a school trip. On our last day there after we packed to drive to our next destination, Boston, we had only 45 minuets to stop at a restaurant to have a meal before our 8 hour road trip. My friend and I decided to order food and eat on the bench outside in front the restaurant and enjoy the views of New York. Later, an old lady passed by and looked like she was pondering whether to join us and rest on the bench where we were sitting. I felt her hesitence so I invited her to join us by all means. We chatted with her for a while and learned that she was travelling around the US with her family and grandsons. A bit later the lady takes off, and then my friend leaves to the bus after we heard the bus driver calling announcing that we will be taking off in few minutes. I decided to sit there for few minutes more and enjoy my thoughts and more of the view, then I got up and grabbed my bag from the bench, only to realize that there was a big fat black wallet under it. I took it and chuckled to myself thinking “Maryam”, my friend, “and her things always everywhere!!”

We got in the bus, few minuets later it took off, and few minuets more we entered the highway that will take us to Boston. I decide to wait for a while and not tell my friend that she forgot her wallet behind, in order to tease her and watch her freaking out when she finds out that she lost it. I wait for 30 minutes but I decide to tell her already. While approaching her, ‘’I’’ freak out when I see her grabbing her ‘big fat black’ wallet form her purse to put in the money she just pulled out from her pocket.

That’s when it hit me, the wallet must be for the old lady! I take out the wallet and open it to look for her ID. Inside the wallet there was a SCARY number of 100 US Dollar bills, 2 passports, and 5-6 credit cards with a different name on each.

Feeling just horrible and sick, I walk my way through the front of the bus to talk to the bus driver to tell him what I’ve done. He explains to me that its impossible to drive back because we’re already on the highway. I try calling the credit cards companies to tell them that if the lady calls to cancel them, then please inform her that we found her wallet.

We decide to call the cops and stop the bus to wait for them to arrive, which took an hour. A policeman finally arrives and takes all my information and actually teasingly tells me that I should have just taken the wallet because it will be impossible to find the lady, since she’s not American. I knew that was ridiculous and just impossible and insisted I talk to another police officer whom I could trust to give the wallet to and for him to deliver it.

We wait for another hour for another police officer to arrive, he seemed more trustworthy and serious about his job than the one before him. I give it to him hoping and praying he will fix what I’ve done.

Today, 5 months later, I receive a letter from the old lady saying thank you. She took my contact information from the police officer who took both my Canadian residence information as well as my home county Jordanian residence details. She turned out to be Dutch living in Belgium and was only in the US for a vacation. Before their trip she convinced her family and grandsons to keep all their money with her in order to make sure they’re all kept in one safe place, since ‘she never lost anything in her life’. She found out that she lost her wallet later that night when they reached their hotel; she fainted and was hospitalized for few days, which made it harder for the police to find her.

I felt so good to receive her note. Now I know she DID receive back her belongings, thankfully it just took the police 5 days to find her. Im sure those days were torture for her and her family, and especially her. She never believed she will ever find her wallet, especially that it happened in New York and because she wasn’t even a resident in America. 

Sometimes doing the right thing is what matters, it feels good inside and its fulfilling enough. But I still thought her gesture was beautiful, quoting her words, she wrote: “ I lived long long years and Ive seen so much evil in people, what you have done makes me see the world as beautiful as Ive seen it when I was young”.

She just made my day and made me happy. Life is about those small moments of happiness, the rest of our life is just pursuits to happiness.

Oh… did I mention she also attached a 200$ cheque as gratitude and offered me a paid invitation to Belgium any time? 😉



  1. Hey, it is really a nice story, I wish it wasn’t the exception…I wish we all live in a better world, but at least one of these rewarding stories can beat a thousand of bad ones! And you have a good reason to go to Belgium now 😉


    Comment by Gonzalo — February 23, 2009 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your kind comment Gonzalo, see you Wednesday!

      Comment by laylanajia — February 23, 2009 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

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