‘When I peeked outside, my heart melted.’: Kind landscaper helps widow look for late husband’s insignia pin lost in overgrown yard

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“I’m a widow.

If you’ve ever ready my story, you know my husband was a cop.

A few years ago on Christmas, I took one of his rank insignia pins from his uniform shirt and had it made into a necklace for our daughter.

She wore it for years, along with other charms given to her by other special people in her life.

Just the other day, she was walking home past the jungle of the yard that desperately needed to be mowed after a long winter.

She did what she always did, called for her dogs who obediently went running to her on the other side of the fence.

She leaned over to greet them like she always does, but this time, her necklace got snagged on the fence and as she instinctively pulled back, it broke.

The charms went tumbling off, somewhere into the grassy abyss.

necklace that was lost in the grass
Courtesy of Diana Register

We all looked for them to no avail, during the day, then again at night with a flashlight hoping to pick up something sparkly.


The next day, I told the landscaper about it so that when he came to get the yard in shape over the weekend, maybe he could keep an eye out for them.

Just in case.

So this morning, I heard him pull up but didn’t hear the sound of the mower whirring right away.

I peeked outside to make sure everything was okay, and my heart melted as soon as I saw them.

He was out there, by the fence.

With a metal detector and going through the blades of grass.

Looking for charms that mean nothing to him, but everything to us.

He doesn’t even know us.

My son normally mows the lawn.

But he was coming in just as a one-time thing because everything was so overgrown that we didn’t really have all the right tools to get it handled.

gardeners with metal detector looking for necklace
Courtesy of Diana Register

I’ve talked to him a handful of times.

To get a quote, schedule the time, and tell him about the necklace.

Nothing more really.

But it didn’t matter that he didn’t know us.

It didn’t matter that he had other jobs to go to.

It didn’t matter that it wasn’t his ‘problem.’

He took the time to help.

He took the time to be kind.

Friends, I’ve been tested lately.

I’ve lost some close friends in the past year, one to betrayal and one to a misunderstanding.

Both were heartbreaking losses for me.

Both have challenged me very much.

I can’t understand why, and I’ve been feeling sorry for myself.

I was starting to question if there were still good people out there, and today, I got my answer.

There are.

And sometimes, the people who help you heal the most, are perfect strangers.

We didn’t find the charms.

But, I’m grateful anyway.

Because what we did find was a reminder of what good looks like.

And all of us needed that more than anything else today.

PS: If you’re in the Boise area and looking for somebody to take care of your lawn, and your heart, message me and I’ll give you his info. Clearly, he’s making things beautiful one person (and one yard) at a time.”

gardeners looking through the grass to find necklace
Courtesy of Diana Register

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Diana Register of Idaho. Her books “Grief Life” and “Grief & Glitter” are available in print and on kindle. You can find more of her books here, and her podcast here. Connect with Diana on her author Facebook page, and Instagram.

Read more from Diana here:

‘Mom, what political party are we?’ I told her how I lean, to which she responded, ‘Therefore, I am too.’ Oh, my love, no.’: Mom tells daughter ‘I will love and respect whoever you become’

‘My 15-year-old asked, ‘Mom, can I get a tattoo?’ I let her and no, I don’t care what anybody has to say about it.’: Mom says daughter ‘earned’ tattoo, ‘She showed me what surviving looks like’

‘Are you guys ok?,’ my daughter inquired. ‘Yeth.’ I tried to balance. ‘Are you lost? I’ll be right there.’: Teenage daughter shocks mom by being ‘the responsible one’ after too many birthday drinks

‘Is this the real pin?,’ my daughter squeaked out. ‘Yes, my love, it is.’ ‘From his shirt?’ Her eyes were big and curious.’: Widow’s emotional gift for daughters honors their late father, ‘My hands trembled. It was beautiful, stunning’

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