Sometimes precious things we thought were lost forever are just mislaid.
Irish couple Nigel and Gillian Stewart celebrated their 25 years of marriage this year with something missing: their wedding album.
The couple's vacation caravan had been stolen 17 years earlier, but in a cruel twist they had left their cherished wedding album inside.
They never expected to see it again. Then just this week, Gillian Stewart discovered a mysterious package placed outside their front gate – and inside it was the wedding album.
"My immediate reaction was that my daughter had ordered something over the internet," Stewart told The Daily Mail.
"Then I thought I was seeing things – I actually thought 'This can’t be right.' I read the words 'Our wedding' and I thought 'Someone’s dropped their wedding album.'"
It was when she opened the pages and saw page after page of color photographs of her own big day that she finally realized.
To the surprise of many, the couple - who celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in September - are now anxious to meet and thank whoever left the package.
The caravan was originally stolen from outside the Stewarts' home in Gilford, County Down in November 1994.
"I didn’t care about the caravan as the insurance covered it — I just wanted the album back," Stewart said. "The returned album is in perfect condition, as if it had only gone astray for a few days. There is not even a fusty smell of it or anything. Everything is perfect."
"Whoever has found it maybe does not want to be known. Or maybe the person who took it has moved house and it has been found by the new people? We have thought of everything."
Stewart had a message for the delivery person: "You needn’t be a bit afraid to come forward to me, because I bear no grudges. I would just love whoever it was to come forward, so I could thank them in person."
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