Teen Who Lost Everything in Tsunami Gets His Prized Possession Back, One Year Later

soccer ballImagine losing everything in a tsunami: Your home, your keepsakes, all your kids' photos. That's what happened to hundreds of families in Japan after last year's devastating tsunami. That's what happened to Misaki Murakami, now 16. He lost everything -- or so he thought.

Amazingly, his soccer ball turned up in Alaska!

Beachcombers discovered it and noticed it was inscribed with Misaki's name. And this isn't just an ordinary soccer ball, either. It's the ball Misaki's third-grade class gave him when he moved schools. His friends signed it with words of encouragement, kind of like a yearbook.


Misaki's response was really sweet. "It was a big surprise. I've never imagined that my ball has reached Alaska. I've lost everything in the tsunami. So I'm delighted. I really want to say thank you for finding the ball."

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Considering 19,000 people died in last year's storm, I think people who lost all their possessions but held onto all their family members still consider themselves fortunate. Misaki and his family have had a whole year to deal with their devastating losses. I'm sure it's been hard for the whole family. But this one small gift from the sea must feel like a miracle.

And I'm so glad it was a teen's possession that was found. The parents -- they'll be okay. They've got their kids. I think that's how I would feel. But kids can be a little more attached to their "stuff" -- from pacifiers to favorite stuffed animals to soccer balls, your stuff is almost your identity. And now Misaki has just gotten back a piece of his childhood.

Do you think kids are more attached to "stuff" than their parents are?


Image via wjarrettc/Flickr

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