Tornado survivor searches for 3 irreplaceable items
It was a bright spot for the family's life, and now Klein wants to find those cards to ensure that McLaughlin's children have something more from their father to hold dear.
Strangers have joined her search.
While helping with Washington's tornado cleanup, Illinois Wesleyan University women's golf coach Kathy Niepagen spotted Klein desperately searching her property, looking for the cards.
"I felt so bad for this lady. She had such despair in her eyes, and she didn't care about anything else," Niepagen recently recalled. "I just gave her a hug, walked away and said, 'Let's see what we can do.'"
Niepagen turned to Facebook, posting on the Benson-run "Tazewell County Document & Photograph Recovery" group page an appeal for anyone "from Washington to Chicago" to be on the lookout for the cards. More than 25,000 Facebook users, some as far away as North Carolina, had shared Niepagen's posting on their pages as of Wednesday.
Klein said she just revealed to her brother's widow this week that the cards are missing. She said her sister-in-law told her she understood and forgave her.
"I believe we're going to find them," said Klein, who's Catholic and said she prays to Saint Anthony, the finder of lost things. "I have faith."