‘This is a blessing’: Woman reunites with family heirloom lost during wildfire evacuation

Local News

VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — A lost memory is now reunited with its family after the tireless efforts of one stranger. 

Earlier in the week, a decades-old, framed wedding photograph was found near the LNU Lightning Complex in Vacaville. 

The photograph captured one of the happiest moments of John and Jean Clark’s lives, and it’s now back home with their daughter, Cindi Whaley. 

“And I believe they’re together. It was maybe a message from the Lord saying, ‘You know what, they’re together and they are happy,’” Whaley told FOX40. 

On Tuesday, FOX40 shared Yesenia Duran’s efforts to reunite the framed photograph with its owner. She had found it on her driveway not too far from the devastating fires. 

“Yesterday, I was out here. I had just asked my mom what I should do with that picture if I never found the owner,” Duran said. 

Duran did not have to wonder for too long thanks to social media and news coverage. 

Within moments, she was in touch with the couple’s daughter. 

“I was in shock. I mean when she started crying my mom and I were out here. We started crying just to know that it was so important,” Duran said. 

Whaley said she must have lost the photograph in the frenzy of last week’s evacuation. 

“Because it was my only picture that my mom had given to me, so I kept it on my dresser in my bedroom all the time,” Whaley said. 

She said she cherishes the memory of her late parents. John died a few years ago. 

“He was a great dad. He was very protective over his daughters,” Whaley said. 

Jean died last year. 

“She had an incredible sense of humor and, of course, if anyone said what was her favorite choice of beverage it was beer,” Whaley said. 

Whaley said her parents’ marriage of more than 70 years serves as a loving example for her family. 

And she’s grateful to Duran, her newfound friend, for keeping the photograph safe. 

“And I call them my angels. Found this on the road, I mean, what are the chances?” Whaley said. 

“I was really happy and I said, ‘This is a blessing, it’s a miracle. She’s gonna become my friend now,” Duran said. 

Whaley said, fortunately, her house was untouched by the flames. However, due to circumstances, she has to find a new home.

But she has faith that someone out there will help her with this new dilemma. 

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