While out shopping for a blouse, Jane Fine Foster found something much more valuable.
Foster was passing by an antique store in her town of Grand Junction, Colo., when she was stopped cold in her tracks: There, right in the store window, was a photo her own mother on her wedding day in 1948.
Foster, whose mother had died four years earlier, went inside the antique store, A Robin’s Nest, and couldn’t believe her eyes. But there it was: a series of framed photos of her mother on her wedding day that had been missing for years.
“To say I was shocked, stunned, near paralyzed is an understatement,” Foster told KKCO News. “I actually screamed out loud. … I just kept blinking and looking again, like, ‘Can that be? Of course, it can be. It was my mom.’”
But that wasn’t all. “We had the lady’s wedding dress,” A Robin’s Nest co-owner Shane Allerheiligen, told KKCO News. “The same dress that was in the picture.”
When Allerheiligen realized Foster was the daughter, he brought out her mother’s wedding dress from the store’s basement. It was still in its original box, along with a newspaper dated June 22, 1948 — two days after her parents’ wedding date.
The wedding dress and photos, along with other items, had been put in a storage unit after Foster’s father passed away, but the items were auctioned off when Foster’s mother missed a payment. The family didn’t even know their belongings had been auctioned off until four months after the fact. That was 12 years ago.
Foster initially tried to track down the sentimental items, but after finding a lead to a vintage wedding dress warehouse in Chicago, the trail went cold.
The loss left Foster devastated for years. “I felt like there was a hole in my spirit,” she told the Daily Sentinel.
What’s even more bizarre is that the storage unit was in Arizona. It’s a mystery how her mom’s wedding photos and dress ended up at the antique shop in Foster’s Colorado town.
Foster, not willing to lose those items again, asked Allerheiligen how much the dress would cost. But the shop owners refused to take any money for it.
“I asked them, what do you want me to pay you to have this wedding dress back to our family?” she told KKCO News. “They both just said, ‘There is no price. It’s made its way back to you. It’s home.’”
Foster thinks it was all meant to be. “This is a message to us that she is still thinking about us,” she said, “and watching over us.”