I use the nearly five hour flight to do one thing, sleep. During my slumber, my iPad slid off my lap onto the floor and likely made its way down the corridor through an avenue of seats. I would not recognize my blunder for 24 hours. On this late night as I deplaned, I checked around me for any personal items as I had done some 1,000 or more flights before this one and departed for home and the comfort of my own bed.
Friday afternoon I went to get my i-Pad from my still unpacked single piece of unchecked luggage and it was gone. Immediately I knew. I had left it on the plane. I file an online lost and found with DELTA and without waiting for a response I went back to the airport to see with my own eyes if my i-Pad, the one my husband had given me for my birthday two years before was there waiting for me. I prayed it would be. My husband told me to take a couple days and mourn its loss, it was lost to me forever. I cried real tears to the DELTA agent, who felt so sorry for me she gave me the elusive "NEVER SHARED" phone number to call them directly to check on the progress of my case. I was affected, not so much over the loss but over the take. I felt violated. Everything on that i-Pad had been backed up or nearly backed up. I was not missing access, I was brooding over the sheer thought of someone taking something that belonged to me. I felt sad and angry. I also felt determined.
I posted my woes on Facebook, my place of therapy. Friends sympathized, empathized and generally wished me luck finding my lost item. Inside I felt the i-Pad had been taken by someone who had no intention of giving it back. I surmised it was the cleaning crew of the plane. I settled into a period of what-ifs. What if I had the airplane mode on? Would FIND MY IPAD still work? I called APPLE twice and twice they told me in Airplane Mode my phone would not signal FIND MY IPAD.
Was I saved from further infringement since it has a passcode on it? Or once the taker realized the passcode was a complete hindrance to them why wouldn't they just trash the thing? So many scenarios raced through my brain. I even dreamt the sabotager tracked me and my family down and held us hostage inside our home, over an i-Pad.
I did say a seven word prayer to God the Almighty. I simply asked HIM to please allow me to have it back. That's it. That was my prayer.
I continued to call DELTA Lost And Found for the next three days. Always with the same reply, no i-Pads turned in. The agent even said to me, "When I gave you this number I really didn't expect you to keep using it."
On Monday evening at precisely 6:42 PM, while finishing making dinner, I heard my phone signal a new alert. I walked over to it and staring me in the face was "YOUR IPAD WAS POWERED ON AT APPROXIMATELY THIS ADDRESS". From the map it revealed I knew in an instant it was not at the airport, but nearby the airport. My friend's husband jumps in his car and does a drive by. He informed me the address led to an abandoned property. As quickly the i-Pad went offline.
The next day, Tuesday I called the police again. I told them I needed a plan. They told me to travel close to the location but not to the address and call 911. They would meet me. I again called APPLE and asked how accurate was the address that was pinged to me from the device. They responded fairly accurate in most cases. It was all I had and I feared if I did not do something quick my i-Pad might be on the move. And worst case trashed. After all, the person who powered it on (it must not have been in airplane mode I theorize), got a message on the screen that says THIS IPAD IS LOST PLEASE CALL ME, with my number next to it. It had been over 15 hours, no call.
After dropping off my daughter at school, I drove toward the address on Tuesday morning. Without getting far I turned around towards home. I just was not up for this I felt. I did not want the disappointment or the confrontation. Quite frankly I did not have much faith that anyone would admit to a policeman on their doorstep that yes they had stolen property inside. With the i-Pad being offline, I did not even have the benefit of instigating an alarm.
Then in this moment, God spoke to me. He said, "If you take the next step, I will finish this." I turned around and headed toward the address once again.