By Jess Grieveson-Smith
A woman has been reunited with a gift from her late grandmother after spotting it on Facebook two decades later.
Sarah Cooper, now 39, could barely believe her eyes when she saw a post going viral on social media, describing a cat patterned tin, filled with lots of small toy animals.
Unique enough to catch the attention of over 20k people, the sentimental item had people guessing the story behind it – and Sarah was astounded to discover – it was her lost present from her grandmother 22 years ago.
Sarah, from Ohio, US, said: “I was around eight years old when I first saw the tin, and I liked it because it was hot pink and had a calico cat on it which absolutely didn’t match.
“My paternal grandma who was into cats died but I wanted it so I could be reminded of her.
“My maternal grandma always made me tea and kept the little animal figurines on her windowsill.
“So I got the tin, and then my maternal grandma started giving me the figurines.
“She let me have the kangaroo first and after that, I was gifted the other various animals over the years until her passing.
“I kept the animals in the tin and it became like I had both grandmas in one memory tin.
“But after I split with my then-boyfriend at the age of 18, and out of spite he donated it to a charity shop.
“I’d given up hope of ever seeing it again.”
After seeing the post, Sarah’s family had originally attempted to reach out to the new owner and buy them.
Sarah added: “My family reached out to her first as an attempted surprise but she was leery, as anyone would be, and asked if they had a picture or anything that could prove their story.
“So when they came to me and said they’d been in contact with her, I searched for days for picture proof because I knew I had one somewhere.
“Just when I was ready to give up, I found the original negatives of the pictures that I was looking for and had what she wanted.
“It meant the world to me just to even see it all again and I never asked for it back, of course.
“I was glad someone loved it as much as I had all those years ago but my heart ached – it was one of the few tangible memories I had of my grandmother.
“I’d lost it in 1998, when I was only 18 and I never thought I’d see it again, let alone still intact.
“So when the seller said that I could have it back, it was the most heartwarming, touching thing someone could do for me.
“The seller’s children had got rather attached to some of the animals so I didn’t ask for it back – it was great to know that someone was getting the same joy from them that I had all those years ago.”