(KMSP) - Have you ever lost something that was irreplaceable? Something with deep, sentimental value? That's exactly what happened to a Minnesota woman who recently lost a one of a kind necklace.
And even though the odds of finding it are stacked against her, she refuses to give up hope.
Lyn Koch has been lucky enough to travel the world and back, always with her husband of 43 years, Mike, by her side. They even had a favorite vacation tradition, combing beaches for sea glass.
But today, Lyn packs alone for Hawaii. Three years ago this month, Mike passed away unexpectedly.
It was on a trip to Italy in 2013 that would mark the beginning of the end for Mike. The entire vacation he was fighting severe leg pain. But he pushed through it long enough for one last sea glass treasure hunt. And that's when Mike found something they'd never seen before.
"I said oh my word it's Mike's birthstone and the birthstone of our baby that passed away at birth, still born, full-term," Lyn said.
Mike and Lyn were thrilled with their one of a kind treasure. But unbeknownst to them, at that very moment, Mike's body was filling with cancer. Less than three months after returning home from Italy, he was gone. A heartbroken Lyn took her priceless sea glass treasure to a jeweler.
"And I looked down and I felt like the Lord was saying 'this is my gift to you,'" she said.
It took a good year after Mike's passing before Lyn was able to start traveling again. In December of 2014, she went to Orlando to visit family. On her way out of Florida, Lyn was flying standby back to Minneapolis. She had a few minutes to do a quick change in the restroom before getting to her gate. She ran in, set her necklace down in a stall, changed, and left.
"I asked around whoever was in there if they had seen it… it was almost an hour later," Lyn said. "There was a cleaner in there I asked if she'd seen it. I asked where lost and found was. I went to all the vendors around there, all the restaurants. I went and checked every single gate because I was going to be leaving that airport and I knew I only had so much time to find it. And I left without it. It was tough."
Lyn spent months calling and emailing the airport. But deep down, she knew it could be anywhere in the world -- "It could be in some little child's toy box in Germany or Spain, or I don't know."
Now, one year after the necklace disappeared, Lyn isn't ready to give up her search. But she knows she can't do this forever. So she's putting herself out there one last time. So far, the response has been overwhelming.
"The kindness of people replaces a lot of the pain." Since she posted her story on Facebook, it's been shared over 80,000 times. But there's been no solid leads yet.
"It's smaller probably than a needle in a haystack because it doesn't look like anything of value to anybody. Except to me, who thinks it's my hope diamond," Lyn said. Hope that someday, this one of a kind treasure will tire of its extended vacation and finally find its way back home.
"If it's meant to come back, I just feel it would be God's direction," Lyn said.
If you'd like to help share Lyn's story on social media, click here for her original Facebook post.