I was reminded, by a comment from Far Side on Monday's post, that I hadn't finished my saga of the upset that greeted us upon our arrival in Ireland. Since then, I've had half a month to see things change in my favor considerably.
Along with a huge adrenaline rush, a lot of serious prayer went into the hours following my discovery that I had left my iPad in the taxi the very first day we were here. What were the chances that I'd see it again? After all, if I had left it anywhere in New York or Chicago or...well, name any U.S. city, and you can imagine what the outcome would be.
Here in Cork, Ireland? I couldn't really be sure. After all, depending on whom we told about the issue, we'd either get a long face and sad story about how crime is bad in the cities, or an encouraging pep talk. When we called the Garda to see what protocol was in the city of Cork, the sergeant's first words were an immediate and brisk, "Oh, please, God!" That, we later found out, was a common saying around there, not an editorial comment on my chances for recovery.
It wasn't until just before we left for tiny Ballina in northern County Tipperary that I opened my email to find the very note I was hoping for, but thought I'd never see:
I found what I presume is your iPad when I was getting out of a taxi last night in Cork. Not knowing where you are staying I took it with me to Dublin.Though I was overjoyed—the device had every detail loaded onto it that I would need for my research trip later on in Dublin—I was instantly plagued with doubts. What if this person was from Cork, but wouldn't return until after we left for Dublin? What if she was from Dublin, and wasn't going to return to Cork at all? What if she was headed to Dublin to leave on an international flight? By the time I saw her email, my iPad could have been halfway around the world!
I was so thankful we had a second computer with us on this trip, or I would never have received the good news until our return to the States. I sent my new-found Irish guardian angel a return reply, providing my husband's local cell phone number, as well as confirming she had deduced the correct email address.
Just as this mystery person had likely wondered about my slow reply, our roles were now reversed, and I was the one to wait. Being, by now, in Ballina without any online service—an unexpected glitch owing to some severe rainstorms which had somehow affected the local Internet connectivity—I was doubly glad to have already sent a return email which included a phone number.
Two days later, the awaited call came in. Life can be busy and complicated for guardian angels, as well.
This one, thankfully, was quite willing to go through the trouble of shipping my iPad to my daughter's address in Cork. We thanked her profusely, knowing the expense that would entail.
Not long afterwards, the package arrived, as planned. While the iPad made the journey in perfect order, there was, however, one glitch which I have yet to figure out: the return address given on the package, as well as the note inserted within, gave a different name than that provided in the original email. Which leaves me with a quandary: whom to reimburse for the expense? There is no way to write out a check, not knowing the exact name of my helper-in-disguise. Nor could I, not having an Irish bank account.
There are always stories of the hero who steps in, unexpectedly, to save the day—and then disappears before anyone even realizes that thanks are in order. My mystery person is much like that kind of hero. She has certainly saved the day for me—I am now happily researching away at the various national repositories in Dublin, aided by the use of my iPad, as anticipated. The only thing missing for this hero is the hero's welcome which she so richly deserves.