June 1, 2011
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in rural Atlanta, Kansas, five days after tornadoes had ripped through parts of Oklahoma. It was that day that 14-year-old Garrett Grow found a very unexpected piece of paper sitting in his backyard.
"I just can't believe it was folded up like that. That's amazing how it did that," said Grow.
It was amazing, because of where this story starts, and where it ends. It's the story of, by normal standards, a relatively un-noteworthy piece of paper -- just a canceled check.
"It's just a check, but it's theirs," said Garrett's mother, Vickie Grow.
'Theirs' describes a family a state away. It's a family who was living in Piedmont, Oklahoma as an EF-5 tornado ripped through their city last week. It's a family who lost a home and business, but one thing that survived the destruction was the canceled check that landed in the Grow's backyard.
"I would have never thought that it would have been out here in my yard," said Garrett.
"He came in and told me and I'm just like, that's from a tornado," said Vickie.
The check is a survivor not only of a massive tornado, but of a journey from the oil fields of Oklahoma to the wheat fields of Kansas. It's a journey more than 150 miles long from Piedmont to Atlanta. It made the journey with not so much as a tear.
"The only thing I was thinking was let's get it back to hem, let's figure out who it belongs to," said Vickie.
So the Grows did figure out who it belongs to, and now they're sending it back.
"If it was my stuff and I went through this [I would want it back.] At least it's a piece of something," said Vickie.
It's a piece of something lost, and then against all odds, found.
"That's like a one in a million chance that that would happen," said Garrett.
The Grows say they now feel they have a connection with the owners of the check and are offering to help in anyway they can. They even offered to make the trek down to Piedmont to assist with clean-up.