Woman spots childhood artwork 20 years after it disappeared

A family heirloom thought to be lost, somehow, 20 years later, serendipitously found its way home.

“I feel like this happened for a reason,” said Ryleigh Gleason Monday.

It happened two weeks ago when Annie Cunningham with Tidy Casa showed up to clean Ryleigh Gleason’s Tempe home.

“I was probably in the kitchen for about half an hour and then I looked up and saw a picture hanging on the wall, by the cabinet,” said Annie.

She says she immediately went in for a closer look, her mind flashing back to childhood.

“I remembered seeing it sitting on my parents’ gold velvet couch, with green shag carpet, in front of the Zenith console that we had, that was the vinyl player, the tv installed in it, and that picture being up on the wall above it,” said Annie with a chuckle.

The unique stitched artwork originally created by her grandmother for her parents.

The piece disappeared after a messy estate arrangement following her father’s passing.

“It was done as a wedding present to my parents, way, way, way back when,” said Annie. “My father passed and everything of his was basically donated, given away, we don’t really know what happened to a bulk majority of it.”

“I thought this was beautiful, I have a lot of oranges and yellows in my house so I knew that it would match all of my decor,” said Ryleigh pointing at the unique wall art.

She says she picked it up at a Goodwill just down the street from both her home and Annie’s childhood home.

“That’s so random that the one time I hired someone to help me clean my house, it’s her artwork from her family, I was like it’s obviously meant to be with her because it’s coming back to her,” said Ryleigh.

So Ryleigh made sure of it.

Gifting the artwork back to Annie, who plans to cherish it forever.

Annie returned the favor by personally stitching another piece to match Ryleigh’s 70s decor.

“I was really, really happy to do so and I feel it’s finally at home and it took a long time to get to you but it made its way back,” said Ryleigh.

To hear more of the story, Ryleigh talks about it on her podcast.

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