Who knew a story about the theft of a pair of cowboy boots would generate such an overwhelming response? M. Martin didn’t, and she’s the one who recently shared the story with TGI’s readers.
It was a simple story, too, but one that touched the hearts of many.
In a short version, the cowboys boots had belonged to Martin’s father. When he passed away, the boots were one of the things she kept, and she displayed them near the front door of her home. They meant more than we can imagine. She loved her father dearly.
“It felt like he was here every time I left or came home,” she wrote.
But, sadly, someone recently stole them.
Martin wrote a heart-felt plea for their return, offering a reward and no questions asked. No boots yet, but plenty of kind comments and notes. A community reached out to her.
It made a difference for Martin.
“Oh My, I did not expect the love and aloha. Mahalo Nui Loa! Those boots mean the world to me. Your kind words lift me up.”
Here are a few more notes from Martin:
“Aloha and I can’t believe the outpouring. My staff is so concerned that Dad’s boots are gone. My friends are just as sad as I am about this. No one can figure out why someone would take my dad’s boots. I can’t believe my letter ended up on the front page of our little island newspaper.
“Boy I really hope this helps get my dad’s boots back….”
And she also wrote this:
“The outreach is even more surprising on the internet too.
Perhaps this will get my dad’s boots back?
This was the Celebration of Life I held here on Kauai.
A painting my mom made for me, and my dad’s boots.
I had a few close friends that knew my parents.
I gave a tribute to my parents in front of her painting and his boots.
Kauilani helped me prepare their ashes.
I paddled out with 2 friends and set Mom and Dad to sail.”
Now, here are a few notes Martin received.
“If you have size 12/13, I have a pair of boots exactly like these. I will give them to you if you return the boots.”
“So sorry for the loss of your dad, but also the lost memories and soul carried through the sole of his boots. Such well worn personal items hold low monetary value, yet are priceless for surviving friends and family. My dad was a longtime Hanalei resident and my being in LA prevented me from being able to gather many very personal items from being tossed by extended family in their rush to prep the home for sale. I hope your message finds compassionate ears of what I hope was a mishap.”
“I truly hope those boots show up safe and sound on your doorstep.
It’s heartbreaking and even obscene to think someone is out there wearing those boots on their feet not knowing the history and significance it holds.”
“I just wanted you to know that I understand &pray that your belongings will be returned. When my grandmother passed away many years ago, we had her cremated and buried in the family plot with a nice ground level marker to identify the location of her cremains. When we returned the following summer to visit her graveside, we found that the marker AND her cremains had been stolen!! What anyone would want with a deceased person’s ashes is beyond my comprehension! I pray that you will get your deceased father’s belongings back. Keep your eyes open — you might one day see someone walking around in them!”
So, we thank Martin for sharing her story with TGI and our readers. And we thank those who reached out to Martin. A broken heart is mending through the help and kindness of strangers. That sounds like something her father would definitely have appreciated.