There are moments in life when destiny simply must take the reins.
Rich Condon is a Civil War historian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After his father passed away in 2019, he was tasked with cleaning out the home his dad had lived in since 2009. While climbing around the attic one day, Rich unearthed a treasure that he knew would be important to someone.
Rich’s dad had also been a history buff who cherished all things nostalgic. While the papery box Rich found in the attic was not his dad’s, it was clear that his father had carefully placed it in the attic to preserve the contents.
Rich opened the box and read the label, which had the address of a tailor and a date of August 18, 1937.
“Upon opening, the container revealed a satin and lace wedding dress, a groomsman’s shirt, a bow tie, and a printed wedding cloth, as well as various memorabilia dating from 1934 to 1937,” Rich described. “Considering the amount of time these objects likely had been sitting in the attic, they were in great condition, although the dress seemed very fragile to the touch. Wedding invitations and paper keepsakes that had been hidden for nearly 80 years looked as if they were just recently tucked away for safekeeping.”
Rich wished wistfully that he could return the items to their rightful owners, the ancestors of that long-ago bridal couple, but the idea of tracking them down seemed like looking for a needle in a haystack. That’s when fate intervened!
Months later, Rich and his girlfriend were finishing emptying out his father’s house when a woman walking came by. Her name was Magdeline, and she explained that she doesn’t normally walk that way, but today something had inspired her to change her route and walk by her old childhood home.
They began to talk and quickly realized that Magdeline’s father had sold the house to Rich’s father back in 2009. The items Rich had found in that untouched attic had belonged to her parents!
“Old memories flooded Magdeline’s consciousness as she recognized the wedding dress that belonged to her late mother, laying alongside the groomsman’s shirt that was worn by her father so many years ago. A large smile spread across her face, accompanied by tears of joy,” Rich wrote.
Rich gave Madeline the package, and she brought the family heirlooms home where they’ll be cherished for many generations to come.
Isn’t it amazing what can happen when we listen to those little voices that tell us to alter our paths that day? Rich and his dad are true historians who understand that even small pieces of the past help us understand who we are today. We’re so glad he was able to return these family treasures to Magdeline!
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