Little Boy Loses Shirt He's Carried Since Dad's Death & Airline Goes to Unbelievable Lengths to Find It

Awww! 26

Cole HolzerEither somebody's cutting onions or this is the most heartwarming story you will read all day. I'm going to go with the latter. Delta Airlines employees went out of their way this week to reunite a 7-year-old boy with his daddy's shirt after little Cole Holzer lost the treasured item on a trip from Fargo to San Diego.

Turns out Cole's dad died two years ago, and the worn Nike shirt is something he totes everywhere to keep his daddy close to his heart.

As adults, sometimes our kids' lovies can drive us a little nuts. They want to carry them everywhere; they won't let us wash them ... Other adults don't get them; they're just THINGS; how could they be that important?

Most lovies don't have the kind of loss connection to them that Cole's does, but the relationship between this boy and his dad's shirt is a prime example of what kids get from a lovie. They're reassuring. They're moral support. They're a solid link to something ... or in Cole's case, someone.

Cole's mom told ABC News he sprays dad Bryan's cologne on the shirt, sings to it, and cuddles with it nightly. Picturing that little boy clinging tight to the one thing that connects him to his Daddy has me in tears today.

I remember one evening when my husband had to go somewhere suddenly for an emergency, and my daughter was absolutely distraught. He pulled out an old stuffed cat that he'd kept from childhood and gave it to her. It worked. She cuddled right up with that bedraggled cat, and went off to sleep.

For weeks after that, even though my husband was home and fine, she kept that thing close by. I realized she didn't just want that thing; she needed it to work through some things. Eventually, she let go, and it now sits in her bedroom.

She was lucky. My husband was right there to reassure her. For little Cole, that shirt is the only thing he has. So you can imagine what it was like for him when it was gone.

I can't say enough about the kind of people who apparently went digging in garbage cans and more to recover his Daddy shirt. A pilot at Delta even apparently contacted ground control himself so they would talk to the folks at the gate about getting Cole's beloved shirt back. It was eventually found -- in the trash -- and Cole has his shirt back.

I wonder if these people were parents, if they understood the connection between a child and a lovie, if they got that this wasn't just any shirt. This was a shirt that represents a child's love for his Daddy.

Check out Cole and his beloved shirt:

Does your child have a connection to something like Cole's Daddy shirt?


Image via ABC



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LostS... LostSoul88

aww that is so wonderful of delta. i am so glad they found it for him. 

MammaSam MammaSam

Definitely a tear jerker. That poor kid! Most people wouldnthhave helped, I'm glad they ran into some good people that are left. I would try to make it into something else, something easier to cart around. At least stuff it and sew the holes. Then he could cuddle it better. :)

MamaYoa MamaYoa

I can only say one word, and that it beautiful.  I'm so happy that there are still great people on this earth that care about others specially children. 

 God bless this little boy and his family.

grous... grousseau

It is a very touching example that there are still good people. Blankies, bunnies, and ducks. They become so attached to somethings and that is fine. We keep those things forever. One day when they are much older they may want them again, just like your husbands kitty. I still have my baby brothers snakey. Pack rat? Well yes.

Shastine Knight

I am so impressed by Delta Airlines kindness towards this boy that I think I will only fly with them and give my business to Delta instead of others even if I have to pay a little more it is worth it to pay for common kindness to this degree in our life and times.  Thank you for the sharing of this lovely story, it really makes you believe that even a large corporation can show love and heart and give back.  These types of people are what this world needs to hear more about!

Izrya... Izryalsmom

What a beautiful story. My son has a blue blanket, that we call Linus. It was given to him by my mother the day he was born. He can't sleep without it and carries it around the house, hence the name Linus. He doesn't get to see grandma very much so it makes him feel closer to her. If we go somewhere over night and we forget Linus, it is such a nightmare getting him to sleep.

nonmember avatar Jenn

When my husband passed away our son would do absolutely noyhing with out his stuffed dog Rover. As it was a common stuffed animal (actually it was a webkinz) I had the luxury of having a few back-up Rovers just in case. He carries that thing everywhere. he wouldn't leave the house with out it. I figured if it was helping him, the best thing was to not make a big deal about it. For roughly two years that dog went with him. It stayed in his backpack during school. I am so happy this little boy got his dad's shirt back and that it helps him in the grieving/healing process. Just as Rover helpes my son.

Nila Wolfsheimer

Very touching story, Great job Delta team!! <3

Golde... GoldenEagle183

My son who is now 39 had a Snoopy Dog as a child. One day  when we were visiting my mom , we were

getting ready to leave and forgot the stuffed dog. No way was my son going to sleep without that dog

so my husband had to drive 45 minutes to my mom's house to get the dog. As soon as my son saw his

dog returned he fell asleep.

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