Saskatoon woman reunited with lost wedding necklace 6 months later

·2 min read
LeeAnne Benjamin said she still remembers going to pick out her thaali with her mother-in-law, Ebenezer Packiathai, roughly 20 years ago in India.  (Submitted by LeeAnne Benjamin - image credit)
LeeAnne Benjamin said she still remembers going to pick out her thaali with her mother-in-law, Ebenezer Packiathai, roughly 20 years ago in India. (Submitted by LeeAnne Benjamin - image credit)

It's been weeks since Christmas, but one Saskatoon woman is still in awe of a special gift she received over the holidays.

Last June, LeeAnne Benjamin lost her 20-year-old wedding necklace — a thaali, as it's known in Indian culture — which was gifted to her by her late mother-in-law.

"We could easily replace it with another piece of gold — but we could not replace it with one that she had chosen with me, that she had touched and placed around my neck," Benjamin said. "It was irreplaceable."

Having dealt with the deaths of her mother-in-law and father just months apart last year, Benjamin said losing her thaali compounded the feelings of grief for her and her husband.

"It was just this symbol of the loss that we were going through," she explained.

Submitted by LeeAnne Benjamin
Submitted by LeeAnne Benjamin

For months, Benjamin and her husband retraced her steps, putting up notes around the city and on social media, garnering help from the community along the way. But they still came up short.

"We kind of gradually accepted the fact that we were not going to get this back," she said. "I thought, 'Life goes on. We're happy, we're healthy — move on.'"

'There is hope'

One November day, her husband connected through a lost and found Facebook group with a woman who had picked up the necklace outside a chiropractic clinic.

Saskatoon Lost and Found/Facebook
Saskatoon Lost and Found/Facebook

They met up and the woman gave back the thaali. Benjamin's husband promised to return the favour to the single mother with a food and toy hamper for her family — something Benjamin unknowingly helped put together.

Then, at Christmas, she unwrapped her missing necklace.

"I was speechless. I just could not believe it," Benjamin said, noting it took her about two minutes to form a sentence.

Submitted by LeeAnne Benjamin
Submitted by LeeAnne Benjamin

At that point, her husband explained what had happened and told her they had a special delivery to make to the woman and her children.

"It was just this really beautiful moment where we could give her these Christmas gifts, but at the same time, she gave us back so much more than that," Benjamin said. "It was just this beautiful symbol that there is hope."

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