Woman Had No Idea What Became Of Her Husband While He Lived A Different Life And Returned Only 15 Years Later
June 6, 2019 12:30 By Fabiosa
Even though accidents can’t be predicted, some things are almost impossible to explain even after years. People try to be careful and expect their relatives to be, too, but in some moments, they remain completely helpless and lose their last hopes.
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Jim and Anne McDonnell lived happily for many years in New York suburbia. The kind and sympathetic man had worked in the local post office for a quarter of a century. Since the couple had no children, their life was plain and, probably, even boring, until one terrible evening, Jim disappeared into thin air.
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This happened in 1971. A few months before the tragedy, the man was chased by accidents: injuries, falls, dizziness, hurting his head. He even spent several days in the hospital with a concussion. By that time he was already 50, but he had no critical complaints on his health condition. One March evening, Jim borrowed a car from a friend and went to the airport to meet relatives. After he returned and gave the car back to the owner, he decided to walk home. But he didn’t complete his 15-minute journey.
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A day later, the police were already looking for Jim, but there was no evidence of his disappearance. Anne was perhaps the only one who hoped that her husband was alive and would return home one day. The frustrated woman worked as a nanny, a cashier, and later got a job at a local hospital, where she also spent several weekends and holidays, trying not to succumb to despair.
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Meanwhile, a completely new man appeared in the center of Philadelphia. His name was James Peters. Jim didn’t remember how he found himself where he had never been before. He also forgot his name and entire former life. He saw the name James Peters on one of the advertising boards and decided it was his name.
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Peters found a job in a lunch counter, changed several places, and quickly made friends everywhere thanks to his good nature and gentle temper. In one of the restaurants, he even found a “family:” he became very close to the waitress who had recently lost her father.
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It was only 15 years later, shortly before Christmas, that Bernadine (Peters' "daughter") noticed that the old man was depressed and silent. As it turned out later, all these years, the man suffered from amnesia and didn’t remember anything about his past. A serendipitous series of minor accidents, similar to how it all started, triggered his memories that began to return to him.
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He knocked on the door of his home on Christmas Eve. Anne was shocked to see her husband returned safe and sound after such a long time. The examination soon showed that the man was healthy. The reason for the memory loss and its sudden return remained a mystery.
Amnesia has been studied so little that no experienced doctor would probably ever be sure about the accuracy of the predictions. Jim’s story ended happily: the couple made up for their missing years. Well, it is an excellent example of how fragile human life is, and how treasured our close ones truly are.