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A grieving mum has described of how a simple act of kindness caused her to 'burst into tears' in a supermarket car park.
Frances Molloy, 58, lost her son, Michael, in a coach crash almost a decade ago when he was just 18.
There is no grave or headstone for Michael, because Frances found that too difficult, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Instead, the mum-of-three lovingly decorated a memorial bench with some of Michael's favourite items as a memorial to her lost son
But thieves stripped the bench a few days before Christmas. After they realised what had happened, one of her other sons and his friends went out and replaced the items.
On December 23 Frances and her friend, Michael's godmother, spent hours decorating the bench.
They put out a bottle of Jack Daniel's, which Michael liked, a Terry's Chocolate Orange – "his absolute favourite in the world" – a Lindt chocolate teddy that Frances' parents used to buy the boys, and a penguin with its chick symbolising Frances and Michael.
But when they visited the next morning, those items were gone.
Frances said: "I just got really upset, and I just went, 'I can't believe they've taken it'.
"I just wanted it to look like a grotto, and I was really upset at the time.
"It's just the thought of somebody taking something. It's like stealing off a grave."
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She coped with the shock of it by telling herself the items must have been gone as a present to someone who couldn't afford one.
Later that day, Frances was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping at Sainsbury's when she got a message from her partner.
Frances said: "My partner sent me a photo of the boys, my youngest son Liam and his friends, and he said, 'You won't believe they've been out and they've tried to replace everything'.
"Honestly, I was in Sainsbury's carpark and I just burst into tears. I couldn't get over what they've done."
In the photo, two young men were stood in Frances' home next to a table where they'd placed a bag of Terry's Chocolate Orange Minis, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, a Lindt bear, and a polar bear with its cubs.
Hanging on the wall behind them, visible between the pair with their arms around each other's shoulders, was a photo of Michael.
Frances said: "I was upset, but I think, it is a little bit cliché, but kindness and love conquer all in these situations."
Their "little act of kindness" made all the difference to Frances on Christmas Eve, she says.
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