For Rachel Hallmark and her husband Matthew, the holiday season hasn’t always been kind. But 2017 was shaping up to be one of the worst.

“The sickest feeling, emptiness in our stomach,” Rachel said.

It all started at a Half Price Books store in Mansfield. A couple days after Christmas, Matthew and Rachel were at the store shopping. Matthew went out to warm up the car and left his wallet with Rachel to pay. Somewhere in the hurry to leave, Rachel lost the wallet.

It was devastating, not because of what was inside, but for what that wallet meant.

“A son’s love for his father,” Matthew said. “How can anyone ever put their son’s love in even the same category as credit cards or identity theft or whatever?”

Three years ago, Matthew and Rachel’s oldest son, Ethan Hallmark, died from cancer. That wallet was one of last gifts Ethan ever gave his dad and a memory they’d held tightly to until it was gone.

“There goes another piece of Ethan,” Rachel said. “Another piece of him is gone forever.”

All they could cling to was what Ethan told them during his fight with cancer. He believed the world was full of great people and amazing wonders. So, desperate for a miracle of her own, Rachel turned to Facebook. And wouldn’t you know it, a few hours later, a stranger found that wallet with everything still inside.

A very joyful Matthew picked it up later that night.

“Ethan once said the tiniest amount of light can dispel the greatest amount of darkness,” Rachel said. “It was just another reminder of that light dispelling the darkness.”

Ethan may have gifted a wallet, but what they received is clearly priceless.