Family reunited with stolen regalia after more than a year
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It was a trip to remember, but not in the way Josephine Webster and her family were hoping for.
Last year, they came to Gathering of Nations but then their car was broken into. Her sons and their friend’s priceless regalia was stolen.
“When it was taken, it was like, that’s like losing a piece of your heart, you know,” Webster said. “It’s a generational thing. Some of the pieces that were stolen were handed down from like, generations and generations and been in families for hundreds of years.”
All of the beading is done by hand – and no one piece is the same. Over the last year and half Webster says she has been getting hundreds of calls saying the regalia was found. When she got a call last week saying it was found, she wasn’t very hopeful.
“When I got the message, I wasn’t really thinking much,” she said. “I didn’t think that, you know, what it meant. Didn’t really think anything of it.”
But this time, the regalia really was found – by a local woman who saw it in an online auction.
“It’s a Christmas miracle, definitely,” Webster said.
Webster and her son jumped in the car and drove 24 hours straight from Wisconsin to pick it up in person in New Mexico.
“It was scary, because I’m like, we’re so close, but like anything can happen,” Webster said. “She has it and I see that she has it. But now it’s actually getting there to make sure that we get it.”
She said she didn’t want to jinx anything after waiting for so long. She even didn’t tell most of her family that they found the regalia. Instead, it will a surprise.
“It’s going to definitely be a Christmas that’s going to be very, very special, and a lot of people are going to be crying happy tears,” Webster said.