I got a call from the high school I graduated from today, from the alumni director. She said she had a year book that she believed to have belonged to me from the school I attended in grade 11. It had been stolen by a so-called friend during grade 12 – 40 years ago! It had been around the school all that time and no-one knew how it got there or who it belonged to. She found my maiden name from a few references in it and matched it to my records from her school. She also learned my father went there 33 years before and googled him. She found his obituary, which mentioned my married name and then looked up the number for that.
When the book was stolen, even I didn’t know what a loss it would become in a few years. A good friend of mine from grade 8 onward, lost a leg to cancer just after he started university. He had always been a star athlete and decided to run across Canada to raise money and awareness for Cancer research. His name was Terry Fox.
Terry became an international hero, and when his run was cut short by the return of cancer, I volunteered in a small office manning phones and collecting donations. I even got to talk to him when he called to thank us all for helping out. He passed away shortly after that.
So what happened to the book during those 40 years? Neither the lady on the phone nor I have any idea. It had obviously been around the school, but why it didn’t get returned to me sooner, or thrown out, is a mystery. The only one that could answer that is the book itself and it unfortunately can’t tell us.
But I know that God had a reason for allowing it to leave my possession all those years ago, and for allowing it to be returned to me now. It gave me a chance to call my sister on her birthday, which she does not celebrate. I was calling to tell her about the book and it was purely a coincidence that it happened to be this day! Also, I needed some confirmation that things I were thinking about were in His plan for me.
There is a bit of an irony to this story. Or maybe it is just another one of God’s messages to me. Rod Stewart (with Bernie Taupin and Jim Cregan) wrote a song inspired by Terry Fox entitled “Never Give Up On A Dream”. I gave up on ever finding my yearbook – maybe that wasn’t a big dream, but it certainly was a feeling of loss. Now as I anticipate its return, I feel a glimmer of hope for other dreams that have seemed lost due to my mental and physical health.
My Mom used to say “Never say Never”. My yearbook is an example of that.