This “good news” (a passion of mine) is brought to us by a dear friend of mine (Jim Douglas, the reporter who wrote the original story), and it brought tears to my eyes. In a good way.
Jami McElrath has inoperable cancer. Like many terminally ill patients, she’s been working hard to collect mementos for her children so they will have things they can physically hold onto to remember her after she passes away.
Among those mementos… she’s been taking photos she wants to put in a scrapbook.
During a family trip to Texas, Jami’s camera was stolen from her car while her family ate in a restaurant. The camera was loaded with photos of the trip, including their time at Six Flags amusement park.
As if that weren’t enough, the camera also had extra sentimental value. It had belonged to her father, who died of a heart attack two years before.
Jami told her heart-wrenching story to Jim, who works at WFAA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Dallas.
“I just want my camera back,” she told Jim in the story. “I just want those memories back.”
Part of her plea also included this heartwarming message of hope: “People are good,” she said. “That’s what I’m saying. I don’t think this person who took my camera is out to hurt people. I think they have a desperate situation they’re in.”
A few days after the story aired, Jim received a phone call from a man who didn’t want to identify himself. He told Jim to look behind a red car in the station’s parking lot. He also added that he felt bad about the incident.
Needless to say, Jim found the camera. He and a news crew traveled to Oklahoma to return it to Jami, who burst into tears. She had some words for the man who took it.
“Whoever you are, thank you so much,” she said. “Thank you for having a conscience and bringing it back. I can’t tell you what it means to me.”
I love this story for so many reasons. I love it for the obvious reasons— and one that’s probably not so obvious. I love the fact that she had hope and positive feelings in her heart… even though her heart was broken. This is one of those stories that reminds me that the more love you send out into the world, the more it will return to you.
I have a personal story that also reinforces this belief, but I’ll share it some other time. I want this post to be about Jami.