Hurricane Katrina did her worst to the Novak's home on the bay in Pass Christian.
"The water in our house was about 28 to 30 feet," Mary Novak said. "It went up to the third floor."
They returned to find the home and all its contents ruined.
"Everything in the house was lost except for one piece of furniture in the upstairs bedroom."
That one piece held a special place in Mary Novak's heart.
"It was my brother's armoire and he died in 1990. And it's just a special treasure to our family."
Overjoyed that the chest survived, Mary and husband Carl secured it in the home's attic during the many months of repair work. But last week, their joy turned to sorrow when they discovered someone had stolen the armoire.
"We were so thankful that it survived, and then to have someone just take it. We were just sick."
Mary is now offering a $2000 reward for its return. No questions asked.
"I want it back," Novak said. "If someone would bring it back. If someone took it and would still come to me and just say they found it and they're the one's that stole it and still wanted the money, I would think they need the money a lot more than I do."
The renovation of their home is nearly complete.
"We're just getting ready to paint and do the floors."
But she says it won't be a complete home until the piece that represents her brother Dan returns with them.
"All my mother's stuff got lost, anything she had of his, my fathers, my grandparents. All of our family homes are gone. I just would love to have it back. It's very, very important to us, to our family."
If you have any information that could lead to the return of the Armoire, please call the Novaks collect at (813) 765-3664 or (850) 434-2492.