“I forgot about it after a while,” writes the good Samaritan who returned a wallet to a Tacoma, Washington, man more than 10 years after it was found.
Dean McAuley, a firefighter and the wallet’s owner, had forgotten about the lost item. Reaching far back into his memory bank, he says the wallet may have gone missing during a scuba diving trip 13 years ago in Langley, Washington. The childless bachelor was just starting a career with the Valley Regional Fire Authority at the time.
“As anyone getting into the fire department knows, your focus becomes just tunnel vision … just doing your job,” McAuley said, somewhat explaining why he’d forgotten about the misplaced item.
Now married with a four-year-old son, McAuley was surprised when his wife, Stacey, found the package in the mail while he was at work. It contained his long lost driver’s license, credit cards and $11 in cash. It was also accompanied by an anonymous handwritten note.
The letter solves the forgotten mystery of just where the wallet went, and why it had never been returned.
Dated March 29, 2017, the note reads:
“Mr. McAuley – I found your wallet outside of a Mexican restaurant years ago. I made several attempts to get it back to you to no avail. I was reluctant to just pass it off to your bank or to the local police as they would not make any attempt to return it to you.
“Just recently I found it in my desk at work and found your address on the Pierce County assessor’s website. I apologize it took so long but I had actually forgot about it after a while.”
The unintentional time capsule represents a portion of McAuley’s old life. It’s also an opportunity.
“I’d love to find this person. I would say, ‘Thank you for giving my son an example that’s going to go on for generations,'” McCauley explained.
He intends to teach his son, Collin, a lesson using the wallet’s journey.
“It has nothing to do with the money, it has nothing to do with a wallet. It has to do with character,” McAuley explained. “This note, I’m going to save forever and it’s always going to be about doing the right thing when nobody is looking.”
The wallet contained very sensitive information and included cash. Dutifully, the person that found it kept everything safe and secure.
The note, written on a paper from the Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island, has already impacted young Collin. “They made the right choice,” he happily said of the author. “He gave it back to you.”
H/T: Daily Mail
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