Saved by an Angel

We are heading home after an excellent performance at our local playhouse of  Tennessee Williams’ shocker,  Suddenly Last Summer, when I realize my cell phone is not in the side pocket of my purse.

“I must have left it at the house,” I say to Erick, surprised at myself for such an oversight.

My wonderful, versatile iPhone is my constant companion. I grope around for it in the early morning darkness when it’s time to get up and walk the dog. It stays within arm’s reach when I’m writing or painting or reading or cooking. Each night before going to bed I dock it to keep it fully charged. I am never without my phone–except now.

Erick and I spend the next half-hour searching the entire house—in purses and coat pockets, under the bed, between couch cushions, even in the laundry hamper—but we find no phone. He grabs a flashlight and searches both cars while I wait, biting my nails. My heart sinks when he returns empty handed. Finally, I use our land-line phone to call my cell number, hoping the ring tone will alert me to its whereabouts.  No ring tone. Where can it be?

Then inspiration strikes. My daughter and I share an app called “Find Friends,” which enables one of us to know via GPS where the other one is.  I use Erick’s iPhone to text her in Chicago, and she calls back a few minutes later to give me my phone’s location—at the theater we attended earlier in the evening.

Relieved, I leave a voice message at the box office explaining my loss, repeating my home phone number, and asking someone to call me when my cell phone is found.

The next morning one of the actors calls me from her home to say that my message has been received and that she will personally search for my phone at noon when the troupe assembles at the theater to strike the set. Reassured and profoundly grateful, I relax for the first time in thirteen hours.

At 11 a.m. our home phone rings again, but the caller is not the person I am expecting. The voice is young and female and totally unfamiliar.

“I don’t know who I’m calling,” she says, “but I found a cell phone and, although it’s locked, this number was displayed on the screen.”  I say that I have, indeed, lost my phone and ask her where she is.

She is attending a church meeting in the theater where we were last night. She explains that after parking her car, she paused to change from driving shoes to high-heeled pumps. And that was when she spotted my phone lying in the grass.

I thank her again and again, and we make arrangements to meet in an hour.  Her name, of course, is “Angel.”

The more I ponder this experience the more I’m convinced that my phone would still be gone had not three stars suddenly aligned. The first enabled my daughter to locate my missing phone from 750 miles away. The second caused my attempt to summon a ring tone to display a “missed call” message—including my home number—on the face of my locked cell phone. The third pointed the way for an honest stranger named Angel to find it and give it back.