Into every life a little trouble must come.

After giving the cab driver the fare and tip, I quickly got out of the cab, grabbing a shopping bag that I had with me. It was raining out and the cab was dark. I walked into Rollstone Studio for a meeting with Fitchburg Cultural Alliance and took off my rain coat. I thought I took off my sweater also because it was hot inside. I was early so I walked around the studio to admire different artist’s work.

Then, I thought, “Where is my purse?” Realizing that I didn’t see it, I wanted to call the cab company IMMEDIATELY. I couldn’t see the phone book listings. I needed reading glasses to see the numbers. An elder artist looked up the telephone number for me and I rang up the cab company. Wrong number! This was the business office. I was getting more panicky as the minutes ticked by.

Then Bob found the right number. I called the dispatcher. He in turn called the driver. Upon the second call, the dispatcher confirmed that the driver had my purse. I waited one hour and 15 minutes for the cab to return. He was in the next town over doing business for the cab company. After picking people up and dropping them off, he returned to Main Street where I was waiting.

While I waited outside, a young man walked by twice and said, “You have good legs and a strong back to wait like this.” While I waited, I sang softly and did Tai chi. It was chilly out, but this was a small price to pay to get my purse back with my life documents inside. I am talking about credit cards, Medicare, insurance cards, money, keys. Out of which my life would have been victimized and full of trauma. You can imagine what it would have been like. Purse snatching is a common occurrence in cities.

There are miracles that happen in this life. Fitchburg is a city of 40,000 people. How likely is it to have a purse returned intact in a city of this size? I am reminded to be thankful for all my blessings. Tonight was one of these.

Oh and it doesn’t hurt to say a prayer to St. Anthony, patron saint of missing things. Thank you St. Anthony.



  1. DianeH said,

    January 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story Mary Ellen – leaves me with feelings of gratitude and hope!
    Diane H

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