Police officer discovers widow's prized heart-shaped possession - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police officer discovers widow's prized heart-shaped possession

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - Losing a loved one is always difficult. It's why friends and family find ways to memorialize their loved one; a headstone in a cemetery, a memorial or ashes in an urn. Christine Nicholson did something a little more unique; something close to her heart.

"I had always joked with him that I was gonna be that crazy girl that wore him around my neck if he died before I died," said Christine Nicholson.

Nicholson didn't expect that to actually happened just three years after they got married.

"I had a partner, we were a team," said Nicholson.

But seven weeks ago, on Jan. 21, her husband Brad went to ER after a week of flu-like symptoms and died a few hours later.

"It happened really fast. It's kind of like a car accident where you can't prepare for it. It just kind of happens and you just sort of stand there like 'what do I do now'," said Nicholson.

While she was planning his funeral, she had his ashes placed in a heart-shaped charm to wear on her wrist.

"I wanted to have him close all the time," said Nicholson.

But this past Sunday, while running errands around Collierville, the charm fell off her bracelet. She didn't notice until she got home.

"I was pretty sure that someone probably picked it up thinking it was jewelry," said Nicholson.

Still, she took to Facebook anyway, in hopes that someone might have picked it up. She posted on jewelry resale pages, 'Collierville Watch' and asked her friends to share it. An hour after her first post she got a call from officer Thomas Spain with the Collierville Police Department.

"He said 'Is this Christine?' I said 'Yes.' He said 'I think I found your heart at Longhorn.'," said Nicholson.

It turns out, Officer Spain was patrolling the area and got an alert about the missing charm on th 'Collierville Watch' Facebook page. By chance, he was close to Longhorn Steakhouse and pulled into the parking lot. He spotted it instantly.

"Just to find it that easy is, it's like you're in the movies, like a light shined down on it. There wasn't a light but it glimmered and then I saw it. And I was amazed that I found it," said Officer Spain.

Nicholson says her mother-in-law had already been by that parking lot. She looked everywhere but could not find the charm.

"It was a miracle. There was no way that he should have seen it," said Nicholson.

Whatever you want to call it, the charm is back in her hands. And speaking of hands, Nicholson has her hands full. She and Brad have two kids, Violet, age 2, and Linton, 4 months.

"It's hard without him, sometimes I think 'What did I do to deserve this?'," said Nicholson. "We made a great team."

And they had to use teamwork to help raise Violet, who was born with a cluster of birth defects. The most pressing was a heart condition that required immediate surgery after she was born.

"It can really test your relationship. But this made us stronger. We were in it together," said Nicholson. "She needs constant care so we have a nurse to help at home."

She has support from friends and family and says she won't be alone in the journey. But this most recent incident reminds her that Brad is watching over her. And that he lives on in both their children; he will always be in their heart.

"It's pretty special how it happened. And I appreciate it," said Nicholson.

Meantime, Officer Spain won't take too much credit for finding the charm. He said he did what he hopes anyone would have done for him.

"If I lost something like that, it's not just a piece of jewelry, it's actually very sentimental," said Officer Spain.

Friends and family set up a GoFund Me account for Nicholson. They hope to raise money to help with medical costs for Violet and beyond.

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