Priscilla was excited to show off her latest thrift store find to her daughter. Her daughter took the ornament from her mother and carefully turned it over in her hands as she admired it. Then, her eyes widened.
“There’s something inside,” she whispered. She held the object up to the light and noticed something moving. When she looked closer, she realized that this was no Christmas ornament.
Priscilla Bailey is a resident of Plymouth and loves hunting for a good bargain. She could never resist going into a thrift store, Goodwill store, or charity shop. Whenever she was inside one of these stores she would spend hours just trawling the shelves.
She would always search for interesting objects, trinkets and knick-knacks, or unusual finds. One day, Priscilla stumbled across something she simply couldn’t pass up. But she never expected a find like this to lead to the police knocking on her door.
This day would turn out to be one unlike any other. Priscilla loves the color blue and has always enjoyed collecting glass ornaments. This is part of the reason why she simply couldn’t resist the glittering blue ornament when she saw it.
It was a breathtaking blue heart-shaped ornament lying on the shelf in front of her. It was such an unusual piece that she immediately bought it. When she finally discovered what she had really found, however, she regretted her purchase.
Lying amongst the other ornaments on the local Savers display table was an absolute treasure. In all her years of bargain hunting, Priscilla had never encountered anything like this before and was immediately drawn to it.
Despite being lumped in with a bunch of Christmas decorations, the heart-shaped ornament was a stand-out piece when compared to the rest.
These days, Christmas ornaments are usually made of plastic, but this stunning piece was made out of glass, and it was oddly heavy. She couldn’t believe her luck when she saw that it was marked at only $2.00. She didn’t think twice and immediately snatched it up.
She thought that it would be a wonderful addition to her Christmas tree. She even thought that it could even be used as a potential gift. It was only much later that she would discover what she had truly found.
With a quick swipe of her card, Priscilla unwittingly signed on for a journey that she would never forget. She took the beautiful blue heart home to add to her collection.
She couldn’t wait to get a good look at it. She admired the beautiful strangeness of the glass ornament — it was almost hypnotic. Then, she noticed something else.
There were carefully engraved figures of angels that surrounded the metal setting of the ornament. While most people would instantly associate the design with Christmas, angel wings can also have far darker connotations.
While holding it up to the light, the sun happened to shine through it for a split second and something strange caught Priscilla’s eye.
Priscilla again noted how heavy the object was and again thought it was strange, given that the object seemed to be hollow. But she could have sworn she saw a flash of something inside…
She held it up to the light again and turned it this way and that as she examined it. She admired the way the glass sparkled in the light. It was then that she started to get an uneasy feeling.
The heart seemed to be hollow, yet it felt heavier than she expected. Her breath fogged up the glass when she tried to look more closely at it. She couldn’t tell if there was anything inside it.
She hung the ornament in her kitchen and didn’t give it a second thought. It was only when her daughter came by and examined it that she realized there was more to the heart than met the eye.
Kat, Priscilla’s daughter, had always loved glass art. She had always had a passion for glass blowing and eventually started a glass blowing and design business of her own. This is why Priscilla wanted to show it to Kat.
Priscilla was very keen to show Kat her find. She rushed off to fetch it and shouted: “Look what I found, I got it at Savers.” Naturally, Kat was eager to have a look at this piece of glass art, but she too noticed that something felt “off” about it.
Kat was understandably impressed with the craftsmanship that went into the making of the ornament. She held it in her hand and realized that it was oddly heavy. She agreed with her mother that this was a rather strange fact.
It was definitely hollow, but there had to be something inside of it due to the weight. Kat had an idea. She ran to the kitchen and grabbed a flashlight. She held the heart up to the light and peered closer.
When she had explained what she was doing, Pricilla was excited to see if Kat’s idea revealed anything. Holding the heart up to the light, they turned it this way and that in the hopes that they would solve the mystery.
That’s when they noticed something they had never expected. There were two golfball-sized containers inside the heart. Inside those containers was something else. However, they couldn’t identify what it was yet. It looked like a powdery substance, shifting behind the glass.
When the two women suddenly realized what was inside the heart, they both gasped for breath and Priscilla immediately knew that the authorities had to be called in. She didn’t know who this belonged to.
She decided to call some journalists at the Boston Globe. Priscilla showed them to the kitchen and explained the story. She hoped that by sharing the story with them she would get the information out there and find the ornament’s previous owner.
Meanwhile, Kat grabbed her phone too. She first called 911, but they couldn’t help her with her strange request.
She then decided to phone Savers. Perhaps they had some idea of what to do since the object was bought from their store? The thrift store responded by saying that they could dispose of the contents properly, but this didn’t sit well with Kat.
“Right now, it’s hanging up there when I do my dishes. I sometimes stare at it,” Priscilla explained to the journalists. “It’s small. The two spots in it are small, the size of a golf ball,” she added.
Everyone held their breath in silent anticipation when she brought the ornament out for all to see. Despite its ornamental appearance, not only was the object not an ornament, but the contents of the heart stunned everyone.
While Priscilla leaves the room to fetch a flashlight again, Kat tells the reporters the story of what they discovered inside the heart. Once her mom returns, Kat shines the light through the heart for all to see.
The room was abuzz with stunned murmurs as they saw what was inside.
It was immediately clear to reporters that it was no ordinary ornament that they were looking at, a suspicion that was confirmed when she told them about the powder inside.
However, it wasn’t baby powder or flour at all. Far from it: the Christmas ornament was holding a powder that most wouldn’t want hanging over their kitchen sink.
Kat tells the reporters: “I said to her, ‘It looks like it’s ashes, Mom.’” But no one knew who they belonged to. Was the ornament really an urn?
Priscilla was shocked to think that she had been carrying around someone’s remains for all this time. At first, Priscilla and Kat were horrified by the idea, but then Priscilla had another heartbreaking thought about the piece.
Kat and Priscilla couldn’t help but wonder how someone’s ashes had ended up on a shelf in Savers? It was heartbreaking to think that the ashes of someone’s loved one had been sold to a thrift store.
Who had the ashes belonged to? Did the family even know what had become of these ashes? Kat came up with an idea that she knew she had to try despite how difficult it might be to pull off.
“It’s beautiful. It must have a story, so that’s my goal — to find out where and who this belongs to,” Kat told the assembled reporters. She had to try and find the family that it truly belonged to.
She hoped that with the police notified about the loss and the media coverage, someone would recognize the urn and come forward. But what would happen to the beautiful urn in the interim?
Priscilla vows to keep the urn safe until its rightful owner is found. She believes that fate intervened on that fateful day in Savers and that she was meant to find it.
With national coverage of the story on the news and online, she is sure that the owner will be found. Her story even reached Facebook – but that’s when things took a strange turn.
After a while, it was obvious to Kat and Priscilla that the story’s news coverage hadn’t caused the stir they were hoping for. In an effort to reach more people, Kat took to social media and left a post about the “ornament.”
Along with the whole story, she also posted a few pictures of the blue heart-shaped urn. The post didn’t fail to attract a few responses, and while many shared their concerns, one man stepped forward with a tip that would make things much easier.
“It breaks my heart that this was tossed away and just sitting on a shelf at Savers for $2,” Kat wrote on the Facebook post. She says that she hopes that the person who does come forward.
She hopes that she will find the real owner and that she can learn a little more about the urn – who it belongs to, whose ashes are inside, and how it came to be in a thrift store in the first place. Then, someone replied to her post!
Before receiving any random messages that would have left Priscilla and her daughter baffled, they got a helpful tip from a thrift store employee.
He stated that the chances of the urn’s owners living in her own town were quite high, as much of their stock came from people living in the area.
After the manager of Savers informed them that most of their donations are made by locals, Kat’s post went viral and people from all over were sharing similar stories.
A woman named Connie Whiteman Slatt wrote: “Please let me know what you find out as I have one also, found mine at a thrift shop too! It’s heavy in weight.”
Then, someone else replied to Connie Whiteman Slatt’s comment, saying that she too has a similar item.
Priscilla and Kat couldn’t believe what they were hearing. What had the world come to, when loved ones were accidentally ending up in thrift stores? Either selling off ashes had somehow become socially acceptable, or these weren’t memorial urns at all. Things would only get odder for the mom and daughter duo.
As one can imagine, the two weren’t feeling so good after hearing about the existence of this second urn. As the days flew by, things would remain quiet.
However, they eventually got a third reply from yet another woman — and she also claimed to have seen an urn inside of an ornament.
She said that her aunt had found it in a thrift store in the Pacific Northwest: “Mine was iridescent and heart-shaped like this one, but much less ornament and more suncatcher-like. It was made from the ash of Mt. Saint Helen.”
Priscilla felt a bit relieved by the woman’s story, but still didn’t feel completely convinced that the urn wasn’t filled with the remains of someone’s loved one.
“This could also explain what appears to be ashes enclosed within… could be a possibility,” wrote a woman who goes by the nickname ‘Cat Willow VII.’
One has to question how an urn with ashes from a volcano in Washington would end up in Massachusetts. Priscilla just couldn’t be sure. However, there was one way that they could find out and finally close this chapter of their lives. They finally had the chance to be 100% certain about what was in that blue thrift store trinket.
Priscilla and Kat could be sure about the contents of the blue object, but the process wouldn’t be easy. They would have to break open the ornament and remove the ashes in order for the test to be done. Understandably, for several reasons they didn’t feel right about doing this.
So, perhaps the glass heart is not an urn after all? Hopefully whoever donated it to Savers will come forward and reclaim it. The viral story is still going strong – hopefully, the secrets of the blue heart will still be revealed.