Something moved as her daughter picked up her mysterious purchase and flipped it over to examine it. She said softly, "There's something inside.
She held the heart-shaped object in front of the flashlight and could just make out two round forms beneath the glass. But as she peered inside the cavity, she realized what she was holding wasn't a Christmas ornament but something else entirely.
Hunting For Bargains
Nothing was more appealing to Plymouth resident Priscilla Bailey than a good bargain. She simply couldn't resist stopping whenever she passed a Goodwill or charity shop.
She combed through the dusty shelves and crates to find something unique or intriguing. But she had no idea today's fruitless bargain purchase would inevitably involve the police.
Priscilla collected glass ornaments, and her favorite color was blue. When a beautiful heart-shaped blue Christmas decoration caught her attention, she knew she just had to get it.
The strange-looking piece left her astonished. What she would later find hidden inside would knock the breath out of her.
The lovely glass ornament had been placed on a display table with other Christmas tree ornaments at her local Savers. She didn't think twice when she noticed the $2.99 price tag.
She happily paid for the ornament and took it home, deciding that it would make a wonderful addition to her Christmas tree or a thoughtful gift. However, she would only become aware of what she had done much later.
Marveling At The Sight
Priscilla couldn't wait to get a better look at the item as she took it home. She pulled it out of the wrapping and studied the engravings on the mounting. She marveled at the tiny figures engraved into the metal around the glass - they resembled angels or possibly Vikings.
She turned it every which way, admiring how the glass shimmered as it reflected the light coming through her little kitchen window. But then, a strange sensation overcame her.
Despite the blue heart looking hollow inside, it was still pretty heavy. Her warm breath fogged up the glass as she looked closer.
But she couldn't see anything if there was something within her trinket. She hung it from a hook in her kitchen and forgot about it. That is, up until her daughter paid a visit.
A Glass Lover
Kat, Priscilla's daughter, loved glass art. She eventually launched her own glass-blowing business to fulfill her passion for design and glass-blowing.
"Look what I found. I bought it at Savers," Priscilla called out as she leaped up to fetch her new ornament. Kat was naturally the best person to help unravel the mystery of the glass heart.
Unraveling The Mystery
Kat held the oddly heavy object in her hand, admiring the glass heart's craftsmanship. It was unlike anything she had ever seen. But, like her mother, she was baffled by its weight.
It appeared hollow, but it was too heavy to be empty. Something had to be inside it, and she had to find out what it was! She grabbed a flashlight from the kitchen drawer and dashed back.
Compartments On The Inside
Priscilla held the ornament up while Kat shone the flashlight through it from behind, overjoyed by her daughter's brilliant idea. As she light shook it, they both saw the contents stir.
It took the women a few seconds to realize that two different areas were inside the glass. The secrets were hidden in these two golf ball-sized chambers. Priscilla gasped for air as their eyes widened.
Taking It To The Media
Priscilla knew she needed to call someone, anyone really. They needed to share their discovery with the whole world. She first phoned the police, then the Boston Globe.
The reporters showed up soon after, and Priscilla led them to her kitchen table so she could explain everything. She hoped the discovery would receive widespread media coverage and someone would come forward with new information.
“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.
The Big Reveal
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?
A Heartbreaking Realization
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.
The Glass Heart’s Story
“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.
Taking It To Social Media
“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!
In The Vicinity
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.
Buying A Book
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.
The Goodwill Store
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.
A Handy Place
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.
It's A Steal!
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.
Finding The Letter
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 Last Owner
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?
Joy And Warmth
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.