Her daughter picked up her enigmatic purchase and flipped it over to look at it. “There’s something inside,” she said softly.
She held the heart-shaped object in front of the flashlight and could just about make out circular forms beneath the glass. But as she peered inside the cavity, she discovered what she was holding wasn’t a Christmas ornament at all, but rather something else completely.
Nobody enjoyed a good deal more than Plymouth resident Priscilla Bailey. She just couldn’t stop herself everytime she went by a Goodwill or thrift store.
She searched the stale bookshelves and storage containers for anything that seemed strange or intriguing. But she had no idea that the police would ultimately get involved with today’s pointless cheap purchase.
Blue was Priscilla’s favorite color, and she enjoyed collecting glass ornaments. She therefore knew she had to have the lovely blue Christmas ornament in the shape of a heart that caught her attention.
She gasped in surprise because it had such a unique appearance. However, once she realized what was hidden inside of it, her life changed.
Her local Savers display table held the ornament among the Christmas tree decorations. As soon as she saw the price tag, she did not hesitate to purchase.
She gladly paid for the ornament and took it home because she thought it would make a lovely addition to her Christmas tree or maybe a gift. Of course, it would take her a long time to grasp what she had done.
Priscilla brought her item home. She was eager to get a better look at it. She took it out of the packaging and started looking at the engravings on the mounting. She was amazed by the little figures that were engraved into the metal bordering the glass; they appeared to be angels or possibly Vikings.
She rotated it around, appreciating the way the glass twinkled in the light coming through her tiny kitchen window. But then a strange feeling overcame her.
Despite appearing to be hollow on the inside, the blue heart was weighty. Priscilla continued to gaze through the glass until her warm breath began to cloud it.
In any case, she wasn’t able to see whatever was inside her trinket. In the kitchen, she hung it on a hook and didn’t give it a second thought. She hadn’t thought much of it until her daughter visited.
Kat, Priscilla’s daughter, has a passion for glass art. She eventually launched her own glass-blowing company to fulfill her desire for design and glassblowing.
The joy of finding her treasure was palpable as Priscilla jumped up and exclaimed: “Look what I found. It’s from Savers.” Kat was the best and most suitable person to assist in unraveling the mystery of the glass heart.
Kat held the oddly heavy thing in her fingers, admiring the skillful design of the glass heart. It was something she had never seen before. She, though, shared her mother’s perplexity about its weight.
Despite being hollow, it was too hefty to be empty. There had to be something within, and she needed to know what it was right away. She ran back, pulling a flashlight out of the kitchen drawer.
Priscilla, who was ecstatic about her daughter’s suggestion, held the ornament aloft as Kat shone the spotlight through it from behind. She gave it a light shake, and they both noticed the contents shifting.
The women weren’t immediately aware that there were two distinct spaces inside the glass. And the secrets were kept in these two chambers, each about the size of a golf ball. Priscilla gasped for air as their eyes widened.
Priscilla was aware that she needed to contact somebody. What they had discovered had to be made public. She first phoned the Boston Globe, then the police.
The reporters showed up shortly after, and Priscilla led them to her kitchen table so she could explain everything. She hoped that the discovery would receive widespread media coverage and that someone would come forward with additional details.
“Right now, it’s hanging up there when I do my dishes. I sometimes stare at it,” Priscilla tells the journalists. “It’s small. The two spots in it are small, the size of a golf ball,” she added.
When she brought it over for the reporter to inspect, everyone waited with bated breath. It was becoming very clear that this ornament was no ordinary Christmas tree ornament. And when she told them about the powder inside, they were incredulous.
Kat takes over and recounts how she had discovered what the heart-shaped ornament was really hiding while Priscilla fetches the flashlight once more.
She shines it through the glass, and it’s as clear as day. There is indeed powder moving inside. Kat says: “I said to her, ‘It looks like it’s ashes, Mom.’” But who had they belonged to?
Was this beautiful ornament actually an urn? And whose ashes were hidden inside? Priscilla was taken aback by the thought. She had been shaking and carrying around someone’s remains, and worse still, she had them in her home.
The true use of the trinket she had bought was more than a little off-putting. But then, she had another thought that broke her heart.
How had someone’s ashes ended up in Savers? The thought of someone’s loved one being unceremoniously sold in a thrift store was enough to bring Priscilla to tears.
Surely the family must be heartbroken? But Kat knew exactly what to do about the sad situation – it was a long shot, but she knew she had to try.
“It’s beautiful. It must have a story, so that’s my goal — to find out where and who this belongs to,” Kat says to the reporters.
She hoped that with the police notified about the loss and the media coverage, someone would recognize the urn and come forward. But what will happen to the beautiful urn in the interim?
Priscilla vows to keep the urn safe until its rightful owner is found. She believes that fate intervened on that fateful day in Savers and that she was meant to find it.
With national coverage of the story on the news and online, she is sure that the owner will be found. Her story even reached Facebook – but that’s when things took a strange turn.
“It breaks my heart that this was tossed away and just sitting on a shelf at Savers for $2, ”Kat wrote on a Facebook post.
She says that she hopes that the person who does come forward is the real owner and that she can learn a little more about the urn – who it belongs to, whose ashes are inside, and how it came to be in a thrift store in the first place. Then, someone replied to her post!
The manager of Savers says that most of their donations are made by locals, so it’s extremely likely that whoever owns the urn lives in the vicinity of Plymouth. Then, Kat’s post went viral, and people from all over were sharing similar stories.
A woman named Connie Whiteman Slatt wrote: “Please let me know what you find out as I have one also, found mine at a thrift shop too! It’s heavy in weight.”
Then, someone else replied to Connie Whiteman Slatt’s comment, saying that she had a similar item.
She said that her aunt had found it in a thrift store in the Pacific Northwest: “Mine was iridescent and heart-shaped like this one, but much less ornament and more suncatcher-like. It was made from the ash of Mt. Saint Helen.”
“This could also explain what appears to be ashes enclosed within… could be a possibility,” wrote a woman who goes by the nickname ‘Cat Willow VII.’ So, perhaps the glass heart is not an urn after all?
Hopefully, whoever donated it to Savers will come forward and reclaim it. The viral story is still going strong – hopefully, the secrets of the blue heart will still be revealed.
But Priscilla wasn’t the only one to make such a mysterious yet heartwarming discovery after buying something from a second-hand shop. A few miles away, another mom would stumble onto something similar.
Helena was only looking to bolster her reading list when she bought a book that changed her perspective on life. This is her story.
Helena Jovovich was a single mom living in Boston, Massachusetts. She led a quiet life, with all her kids in college and most of her work done from home.
In her free time, Helena enjoyed immersing herself in books. She’d done it for decades, knocking back dozens of books as each year came to an end. But one day, everything would come to a standstill.
Like many avid readers, Helena didn’t mind where she got her books from as long as she could read them. But she always favored physical copies instead of digital ones, loving the feel and smell of paper from both old and new books.
Since most physical copies are expensive, Helena discovered an excellent way of getting good books she could endlessly enjoy. The Goodwill store.
The place she usually frequented dealt in almost everything from household items like cutlery and gardening tools to furniture, clothes, and books.
Helena only visited for the books, most of which were usually first editions that she could spend time fixing, which was her hobby, before reading. But what she’d soon discover would leave her stunned.
The day the incident happened was like any other for Helena. She was browsing the new additions in the store’s book section when her eyes landed on a thick volume that immediately caught her interest.
She picked the book out of the pile, realizing it was a very old edition of a famous fantasy book from the 1950s. Helena quickly bought it because of how rare and prized such a copy was.
The book’s price tag was a little over five dollars, a far cry from the five to a thousand hundred dollars someone could sell it on eBay. Helena stuffed it in her bag and quickly drove home.
She didn’t even bother with cooking dinner that night. She only took a shower, dimmed her bedroom lights, turned on her lamp, and got to examine the book. But a surprise was waiting for her.
Helena scrutinized the volume, seeing the damages she needed to fix when something odd slid out of the pages. She stared at it, wondering what such an item was doing inside the book.
Was it a bookmark? No. It was too wide to serve such a purpose. She thought it was a letter, given it was a paper with writing. She was ready to find out.
Helena opened the paper fully, reclining on her seat. That’s when she realized what it truly was. “A letter,” she mumbled, leaning closer to have a better look.
She began reading it word for word. The letter was addressed to the book’s current owner, detailing the volume’s history and why its owner gave it up instead of fixing and selling it for profit.
The owner introduced himself as an anonymous old man, explaining that he had fallen sick in recent years due to his old age.
He explained that the book had been in his family for decades and that his parents had always read it to him and his siblings when they were young. As an adult, he always read it when sick or whenever he missed his late family. So why did he give it up?
The letter explained that the man didn’t have any next of kin or friends in his last days. He donated the book, hoping it would bring joy and warmth to whoever found it the way it did for his family.
He only asks that they do not sell it for profit. Helena smiled as she read the heartfelt letter. She was glad that out of the many hands the book could’ve landed on, it was hers that it chose.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.