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The Blessing of an Old Friend Returned

A mother on a budget is reminded of what she has when an old coat goes missing.

By Shawnelle Eliasen, Port Byron, Illinois

As appeared in

Raising five boys means I don’t shop much for myself. Time and money can be in short supply. So I was excited when my husband, Lonny, and I made a special trip to the mall just for me.

“I’m so glad I’m getting rid of this old wool coat,” I said as I grabbed an armload of plush, pretty outerwear. “Wait here,” I told Lonny and slipped into the dressing room.

Nothing fit me right. I went to see if I’d passed over anything else, but no such luck. I’d tried on all that was affordable in my size. I went back to get Lonny outside the dressing room.

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When I poked my head back in the dressing room I saw it had been emptied out. All the coats were gone—even my old wool! “Lonny,” I said, “you let them take away my coat!”

Customer service phoned around the entire store and spoke with every sales associate. No one seemed to have found it. “But we’ll keep looking,” the woman assured me.

“We’ll come back tomorrow,” said Lonny. “They’ll have found it by then.”

On our way out we passed a rack of brand-new coats. In between a pea coat and a ski jacket I spied my trusty wool. I pulled it on over my shoulders. A perfect fit. Maybe an angel was trying to tell me this coat had one more winter in it after all.

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