LETTER: Do the right thing, return the birthday package

Former Rupertite requests whoever stole her children’s gift to their uncle to turn it in

Dear Editor,

I find myself so distraught by something that happened a few weeks ago in Prince Rupert that I have to share my thoughts with the community. Rupert is the place where I was born – I love this city and it holds a special place in my heart. This is the community where many of my family still live and work and some of my best childhood memories are linked to this rainbow city.

Let me share what happened. My eight-year-old and 10-year-old daughters made a birthday gift for their Uncle and we mailed it to him in a big yellow bubble envelope, as a surprise. We checked in with him after about a week because we thought it was odd that we hadn’t heard from him. So we decided to ruin the surprise and ask, had he received a present from us in the mail? No, he hadn’t. When I double checked the address, I realized I had made a mistake and sent the package to the downstairs unit of the rental home – where he had lived previously. He had moved upstairs and I had addressed the package incorrectly.

I went on the website and tracked the package through Canada Post — the tracking history said that the package had been delivered to the downstairs unit, a week prior. When my brother went to ask the downstairs tenant if he had seen the package, he said ‘yes’ but that he had left it outside his place for a couple of days, thinking my brother would see it and pick it up. Two days later the package disappeared. But it wasn’t my brother who had taken it. We filed a report with Canada Post – we thought they may have picked up the envelope and taken it back to the post office for safe keeping. But no. It had been stolen.

To the person who stole our handmade birthday gifts. You have in your possession two things that mean nothing to you. One is a painting about 6” x 8” in size, made by hand with red and white marbled acrylic paint swirled all over the canvas. My eight-year-old signed the back and titled the painting “Kisses of Fire.” The other gift is a small photo album with a silver metallic cover with a photo of a heart-shaped rock in the front photo frame. Inside is a collection of family photos from our parents’ 50th wedding celebration in Maui, handwritten notes from nieces to their Uncle. A handmade heart made from melty beads. Tarot cards that they had drawn from a deck and placed in the album. Messages of love throughout.

These things understandably have no meaning to you but they mean everything to my girls. We all cried when we learned what happened. Mostly because these gifts cannot be replicated – they were one-of-a-kind sentiments. My tears were shed because my disappointment in your actions ran deep. My girls poured love into these gifts and when you decided to take the envelope from the porch I know you too must have been deeply disappointed when you saw there was nothing in there of value to you.

I ask you to please consider returning the gifts to where you found them. Place them a non-descript plastic bag (because we all know how much it rains in Rupert). During the day, when everyone is at work, just slip the bag on the door handle of the unit upstairs.

This is an opportunity for you to reverse your actions and balance it with an act of kindness. My family and I would be very appreciative. Please do the right thing.

Janine Tasaka

Vancouver, B.C.

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