GLACE BAY, N.S. -- A man in Cape Breton, N.S. has been reunited with one of his guitars that was stolen almost 20 years ago when his home was broken into.

He says the loss was devastating.

"It was hard, and when we didn't recover it right away, I completely gave up on it. I never thought I'd see it again," said Shawn Bigley, who is the original owner of the guitar.

Although Bigley gave up on the search, his son did not.

He was able to search and track down the instrument, which he then gifted to his father this week as a surprise birthday present.

"I cried, I'm not going to lie. I went through a whole wave of emotions when I saw it," said Bigley.

Bigley says the guitar was originally a Christmas gift from his wife of six months, making the sentimental value of the instrument irreplaceable.

According to Bigley, his son recently saw the guitar for sale and knew it was his father's thanks to distinctive marks it has.  

"It has a crack in it. When I was playing years ago in a choir, I turned one way and somebody else turned the other way and their strap hit the top of my guitar and it put a very distinctive crack in it, so that's how we knew for sure it was the guitar," explained Shawn. "When I saw that crack, a whole lot of memories came flooding back."

Bigley says he's still unsure where the guitar ended up after it was stolen, but he says the recent owner's parents purchased it at a pawnshop in Sydney, N.S.

"This is at least two people that learned to play on this guitar and maybe somebody else will see this and realize it has gone through their hands too," said Shawn. "I guess this guitar's reason for being is so people could learn how to play on it. It's kind of cool it made its way back to me."