Photo Credit: Jewish Press

No one ever buys me flowers.
I really like flowers.
Especially pink ones.
So… I visit friends who have flower gardens.

 

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My neighbor, Mrs. Green, recently moved to Golden’s Senior Residence. Whenever I visit her, we sit on a terrace that overlooks a magnificent garden. I listen patiently as she shares with me stories from the past while we admire the neat rows of pink geraniums, red roses and yellow tulips.

After my last visit, I was heading back home when I noticed a shiny object on the sidewalk. It looked like a hearing aid. My aunt wore hearing aids, and I knew they could be pretty expensive. I picked it up, wondering how I’d be able to find the owner.

As soon as I came home, I called some of the local circulars and advertised the hearing aid in the “Lost and Found” section. Then I called the National Lost and Found Center, and notified them.

The next day, I had to fill a prescription. As I was leaving the pharmacy, I bumped into my friend Rochel. We chatted for a few minutes. Before parting, I mentioned to her that I found a hearing aid. I asked her if she had any suggestions that would help me locate the owner.

“You found someone’s hearing aid? Wow! That’s amazing! Just last week I found someone’s hearing aid! I called Kupat Cholim and they gave me a list of hearing aid manufacturers. I have the companies’ numbers on my cell phone. Do you want them?”

Delighted by the obvious hashgacha and the helpful advice, I took the numbers.

I dialed the first company on the list. The secretary was skeptical. She said that it would be difficult to find the owner, since most of their hearing aids were manufactured abroad.

Discouraged but not daunted, I called the next company. The answering machine announced, “All of our representatives are busy with other customers. Your call is important to us. Please hold on the line.” Then they played music. The recording repeated itself, and then played more music.

Maybe the customer representatives stepped out to lunch?

After two more rounds, I wondered if the representatives had stepped out for their summer vacation.

I hung up and called the third company.

A receptionist picked up on the first ring. “Hi, my name is Simmy. How can I help you?”

I told her the whole story. Simmy asked me to check if there were identifying numbers etched into the hearing aid. There were! But the numbers were so tiny, I needed to use my magnifying glass. I read the numbers to Simmy and she checked the computer files. “The hearing aid was purchased by Pearl Fried. Would you like her phone number?”

I was thrilled. I took the number, thanked Simmy, and called Pearl.

The phone rang and rang.

I prayed. “Please Hashem, help me do the mitzvah of hashavas aveida and return the hearing aid to its owner.”

I tried calling a few more times. Finally, someone picked up.

“Hello.”

“Hello. Am I speaking to Pearl Fried?”

“I can’t hear you. What did you say?”

I raised my voice. “Am I speaking to Pearl Fried?”

“Hold on while I put the phone on my other ear. Who are you looking for?”

“Pearl Fried.”

“Yes, that’s my name. How can I help you?”

“I found a hearing aid on Tuesday. Did you lose yours?”

“Yes, I did! That was the day I visited my friend Molly who lives in Golden’s Senior Residence. When I came home, my hearing aid was missing and I realized it must have fallen off.”

I didn’t want to trouble Pearl to come all the way to my neighborhood, so we arranged to meet at the main entrance of the Central Bus Station. I sat on a bench and surveyed the people getting off the buses.

Then I spotted her. A sweet looking petite woman wearing a white hat, gold rimmed glasses, and a worn looking brown skirt. She was carrying a tote bag.

I got up. “Are you Mrs. Fried?”

“Yes, I am. Are you the kind woman who I spoke with on the phone?”

I chuckled and handed her the hearing aid. “Does this look familiar?”

“Yes! Thank you. It took me a couple of years to save up enough to buy it. I’m so happy that you found it, I brought you a little gift.”

She extracted a cellophane wrapped package from her bag.

It was a green planter with pretty pink geraniums.

“Oh my! They’re gorgeous. That was so thoughtful of you!”

Mrs. Fried beamed.

The sun’s rays shimmered on the pink petals, as I tenderly carried the planter home.

Someone bought me flowers.

Pink flowers.

And I really like them.

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