A Gaspé woman has been reunited with a special pendant containing her son's ashes after a journey involving several Quebec cities, a thoughtful man from Victoriaville, social media and a little luck.
Nancy Murray's 19-year-old son Dylan died last September in a car accident.
Murray put just a few of his ashes inside a heart-shaped pendant and has worn it around her neck ever since.
She was travelling from her home in Newport, Que. with her oldest son to see Roger Waters in concert in Montreal in mid-October.
Along the way, they made a stopover in Drummondville to visit Murray's sister.
They went out to a restaurant near the Costco gas station and when she returned to the car, she noticed the necklace was gone.
Murray became frantic. "I kind of turned Drummondville upside down," she said.
She returned to the restaurant to look for it, and called her niece to see if she had left it at her sister's house. But it was nowhere to be found.
"I hoped and hoped and hoped to find it," Murray said. "I can't live without it. I really need it to deal with my loss."
The next day she posted a message on Facebook before she and her son headed to the concert in Montreal. The message spread like wildfire.
Meanwhile, Eduardo Orantes of Victoriaville was in Drummondville the very same day. He was in town for a friend's birthday party and had stopped at Costco for gas when he found Murray's prized pendant.
"The first thing that I saw on the ground was the pendant. That's what's amazing. I saw the two hearts together, that meant for me a much-loved symbol."
He knew it was something special, so he kept it in his pocket and but didn't think much about it.
The next day Orantes checked Facebook and saw a shared post from a friend in Quebec City.
"When I saw the picture I recognized the pendant," he said. "When I read the text, oh my God, I was really in shock."
Orantes said his first reaction was to get in touch with Murray.
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Pendant wrapped in tiny box
Through Facebook, Orantes eventually tracked down Murray's phone number. She received a message late the night after the concert. She called him early the next morning and drove to pick up the pendant at his office.
"I extended out my hand, and I said, 'nevermind a hand, give me a hug.'"
Orantes gave the pendant special treatment.
"When I realized what was in my hands, I put it in a little box and put it with tissue to protect it," he said.
Both Murray and Orantes say the widespread sharing of the message on social media helped bring them together.
Murray's also grateful it fell into the right hands.
"It could have [fallen] on someone else, who didn't have all the honesty," she said. "Eduardo is a good person and because of being a good person it came back to me."
Before Murray and her eldest son left, they invited Orantes to visit them in Newport and he's agreed to come.
"I told him he was welcome, and I think some of my friends from Facebook mentioned, 'You have a lot of friends now in Gaspé.'"