My husband lost his wallet today. This was a heart-racing, sweat-inducing event, as we are in upstate New York visiting my parents. No wallet means no license, which means no ID, which means no plane ride home, especially in light of the fact that my husband is a foreign national. We had been at the playground playing with my seven-year old niece, when the wallet must have fallen out of his pocket. When we got home again, my husband noticed the wallet was gone.
My husband and I both panicked, searching the playground for the wallet. Another family - the mother a friendly brunette with a sympathetic smile, her children firmly in the awkward phase of adolescence - helped us search, wandering the playground and nearby fields looking for the lost wallet. After a while we admitted defeat and headed home again. When we got home, my brother told me about the time his briefcase was stolen and later found in the dumpster. He offered to go back with us to search again. Still no wallet. Once again, we gave up, going home for my mother’s lasagna.
Before the meal, my father prayed, asking to find Badri’s wallet again. At one point in time, my back would have stiffened at this prayer. But I am trying to reconcile my lack of beliefs with my family’s belief in Mormonism, so I reminded myself that my father’s intentions were good.
In the evening, we called the sheriff’s office to ask if a wallet had been found. A wallet that matched the description had been found; the operator gave us the name and the number of the woman who had called to report the lost wallet.
We went to the woman’s house, who turned out to be a friendly person spending her retirement operating the local food pantry. She was a warm person and happy to be of help. She gave my husband his wallet and the three of us talked, standing out on the porch as the day eased its way into night. We talked about our families, about our personal histories, about the town. She had worked as an engineer before retiring; my husband is also an engineer. As we turned to leave, we noticed her car-lights were still on. She thanked us, grateful that she wouldn’t have a dead battery in the morning.
As a Mormon, my father’s prayers for the lost wallet were answered. As an agnostic humanist, my belief in the goodness of humanity was re-affirmed. And so, in its own way, this lost wallet has served as affirmations for both us.