My dear friend, Kellie, was kind enough to share this story with me. She is an incredible example of “noticing,” even during a pandemic. She helped me consider that there might be things I can notice better over here.
Isn’t it amazing to just have the thought that the God of the universe cares for and is aware of us? He listens to us and answers us.
Enjoy every detail of her amazing story!
Dear friends and family,
I just need to share this with you.
I write a gratitude journal every day. I usually only write a small line about the things that have happened that day and acknowledge the Lord’s hand in those things. I am feeling impressed that the experience I had yesterday warrants a more detailed description. I need to remember and share.
On March 14, 2020 I was working on my computer when my sister Julie called and told me I probably needed to get back to Utah because my mother had turned a corner and would be leaving us soon.
I had just been there the week before to help pack up her house and get things ready for it to sell, because they had determined she needed to move to an assisted living center after she left the rehab hospital.
Mike and I decided we would leave the next morning. Soon after Julie called, Jodi called and expressed that she might not make it long enough for me to drive. I quickly got on the internet and scheduled a flight out to SLC. I called Andy up and made arrangements for him to pick me up. I wouldn’t be arriving until 8:00 p.m., but that would be a full day before Mike and I would be driving in.
My flight was cheap, but not a direct flight. I left my house at 1:00 p.m., drove the hour to the airport, and boarded the plane for Las Vegas fifteen minutes after passing through the TSA. I was supposed to be in Las Vegas for a two-hour layover.
Shortly after I landed, I saw on the board that my flight to SLC was being delayed two hours. That would put me in at 10:00 p.m. UGH! My mind was racing. I knew that when my father and father-in-law took a turn with their health, death didn’t happen for hours after they closed their eyes for the last time, but in essence, they were already gone. I was hoping and praying I would not miss the opportunity to say goodbye to my mother and have her hear my voice and know I was there for her.
I had taken my iPad out of the CPAP case to watch a movie since the layover was going to give me ample time to finish it. I was thoroughly engaged in the movie when I heard the last call for my flight to board. I still had fifteen minutes left on the movie. Rather than putting the iPad back in the case, I kept it out and tucked it into the seat pocket ahead of me while I waited for the stewardess to announce it was now safe to use our devices.
I was so blessed in the companionship of a couple who were sharing the seats next to me. They too were on “death watch” with his mother and we started a very meaningful discussion. In the course of the conversation, we discovered we had very good common friends and before the flight was over, they asked me if I would want them to take me to Teresa’s house. They literally lived just down the street from her. I was so happy and excited not to have to put Andy out at that late hour, that immediately upon landing I called him and told him I had safe new friends who would be taking me there.
Between the phone call and the distraction of forming new friendships, my iPad stayed on the plane, safely tucked where I left it.
I got to my sister, Teresa’s house just seconds after my mother was given a drug to help her uneasiness. I was able to take her hand and express my love and let her know we were all there now.
She asked me what we were doing. I said we were waiting for Dad to come and get her. She smiled and closed her eyes and went to sleep. She never woke up.
I went to get my iPad out of the case and discovered it was missing. I tried calling the airlines, but was told lost and found items were strictly handled by submitting a form online. The form was very general and asked questions I couldn’t answer.
What is the model number? What is the serial number? Do you have a picture of it? UGH! I filled out the form online the best I could, and tried to have faith. I really expected within hours the iPad would be found and returned to me. Not so.
Between the exhausting week of dealing with my mother’s death, planning a funeral, unplanning a funeral because of COVID-19, having an earthquake, packing up her house and taking a moving van back to Arizona, you would think my missing iPad was the least of my problems. The thing is…the iPad was my source of spiritual strength…and it was gone. I use the scripture app to study every morning. It has quotes, ideas, experiences and my testimony written all through it and in one of the most trying weeks of my life, I was without it.
My prayers and my family got me through the week, but I missed my lifeline. The iPhone is ok for just reading the scriptures, but it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t see all of my extra insights and the font on the phone was super small. When I got home, I received another update from the airline stating they had not found my iPad but would continue looking for it.
Life was absolutely turned upside down when Julie and I got home from Utah. There was no food or toilet paper in the stores and even Amazon was only delivering essentials. Having brought my mother’s food storage back with me brought me a great deal of peace, but I was still praying more about the iPad than for our staying safe from the virus (I knew if we obeyed the isolation rule, we would be safe). I really wanted my iPad back.
A few days later, I was cleaning out my closet to make room for the food storage and I found the iPad box, complete with model and serial number. I got really stoked. I also remembered Amy taking a picture of Claire and I looking at pictures on my iPad when I was there for Claire’s birthday a few months earlier. I uploaded the information immediately.
Brett told me one afternoon a few days later, that if I looked on my phone, I would be able to see all of my synced devices and use the “Where is my iPad?” feature to locate it. So, I did. I was floored. “Kellie’s iPad is located in the Denver Airport.”
I quickly took a screen shot and uploaded the picture to my submission form “update” sheet.
I got another email telling me thank you for the update, and they would continue working on finding it.
During the next three weeks I kept myself busy making masks, scrapbooking pictures, and writing a memoir about the year of the Honey Bucket. All of these projects kept my mind off my biggest worry, the loss of my iPad.
Because there was no phone number to call or person to talk to, I wasn’t sure if they had really even looked at the update. I just kept receiving emails saying they hadn’t found it yet. I chalked it up to social isolation and nonessential workers being at home. I figured the lost and found department was probably in that category.
On April 15, 2020 I received an email stating that the airline was very sorry, but they were unable to find my iPad and MY CASE WAS CLOSED. What the heck?
I found a customer service phone number and was on the phone for nearly an hour trying to help the person assisting me understand that my phone proved to me the iPad was somewhere in the Denver Airport lost and found facility. The poor woman was deeply apologetic, but explained that once lost and found closes the report I would have to wait ninety days to file a new report. I was unbelievably discouraged.
That night I begged Heavenly Father again for my iPad to be found and returned to me. In this prayer, I specifically asked that all those on the other side, my mom, my dad, my nieces and nephew, my in-laws, anyone who loved me, be allowed to help me recover my iPad. I went to bed feeling much better and I knew doubtless of the outcome I could always buy another one. I just didn’t want to.
On April 17, 2020 at 9:45 p.m. I received the incredible news that my iPad had been found and that I needed to click on the link provided in order to pay for the shipping and handling. I literally squealed.
I quickly clicked on the link; I even paid the extra fee to have a “signature required” delivery. I used the Print Screen feature on my laptop to have the confirmation page at my fingertips in case there was any trouble. I wasn’t going to take any chances. My heart was so full of gratitude that my iPad was recovered. I cannot even express it.
Immediately after I finished putting my “Print Screen” onto a word document, I received a confirmation email from the airline. I clicked on it to check it had all of the same information.
To my absolute horror, I discovered that somehow, someway, the shipping address was listed as some unknown address on Olive Street here in Casa Grande. I frantically tried finding a way to edit the order. The email address was a do not reply address. I already knew this particular department was not manning the phone lines and my heart sank. UGH!
I find it very interesting how the Lord chooses to reveal himself to me. He helps me see, in some of the most incredible ways, that these miracles He is sending are most definitely from HIM.
The thought came to me to check out the address. Maybe I could contact the people living there and explain what had happened. All was not totally lost.
When I typed the address into GoogleMaps, much to my pure amazement and delight, the address my iPad was being shipped to… was my dentist’s office.
Dr. Dave Crosby, although being my dentist, is also a friend and a member of the bishopric in my ward. We worked together quite extensively when I served as cubmaster. I went on Tools and immediately emailed him my plea, carefully explaining my unusual plight. By the time I was finished writing the email, my heart was so full of joy, I literally had to Marco Polo my family and share it.
I could hardly get the Marco Polo out I was laughing so hard. Brother Crosby emailed me back to inform me that his staff would be looking out for it and I slept last night with an absolute peace that really cannot be voiced sufficiently.
It is was not so much that the Lord answered my prayers, or that He did it in a way that I could not deny it was Him. This experience, once again, brought to my remembrance that I am important to the Lord. My seemingly small and insignificant problem in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, tornados, and earthquakes, still mattered to Him. I know you all matter to Him too.
That is why I had to share.