A man’s single act of kindness leads him and his wife on a journey that reunited her with her siblings she never knew she had.
It was a fine evening in New York when Jude Fiddlestein left his hotel for a walk to clear his cluttered mind. He was a businessman who had traveled to New York for an annual business conference he hoped would help him further his network in the business world.
That evening, Jude was feeling the clawing pain of loss that appeared when he lost his daughter June several months before. He and his wife Megan had been trying their hardest to get past the loss, but it was tough — the child had been their life, and her death was unnecessary.
She passed away after an overworked surgeon made a mistake while removing her appendix. It made moving on for the couple all the harder; the first few months saw them ensure that the surgeon and the institution were adequately sanctioned.
“It’s not about a settlement,” Megan had told reporters who had been covering the court case, which began when the hospital in Mount Sinai tried to cover up the accident.
“We just want to make sure that people are aware of this and that it doesn’t happen to other people. We wish no one such a sordid experience,” she said.
After justice was served, the couple were left with their grief, and they both resorted to different coping mechanisms. Megan spent her time crying in June’s room or in Jude’s arms, and her work as a hairstylist was put on hold.
On the other hand, Jude threw himself into his work. When he was not comforting his wife, crying behind her back, or sleeping fitfully, he was working. That was why when he caught wind of the business conference in New York, he jumped at it.
Megan spent her time crying in June’s room or in Jude’s arms | Source: Pexels
The conference went well; it started in the morning and ended late in the afternoon. Jude would have returned on the first flight back to Houston; however, he was not up to traveling just yet, so he decided to return on the first flight the following day.
As he lounged in his hotel room, grief swirled within him, eating at him until he felt empty. In an attempt to shake off the feeling, he decided to go for a walk just as the sun was setting.
He had not been walking for long when he caught sight of a woman laden with two full grocery bags that threatened to topple her over. She also struggled to juggle all of that by pushing a heavy-looking stroller that contained her child up a couple of steps leading to her apartment.
Jude, a former parent, felt a hit of nostalgia at the sight of the child, and as if they had a mind of their own, his legs carried him towards the woman and her kid.
Jude offered to help the woman with the stroller | Source: Pexels
“Need some help?” he asked, putting on his brightest smile.
It seemed to prevent the woman from making negative impressions of him, so she answered sincerely. “Yes, I would love that, thank you,” she said, stepping aside for him to handle the stroller.
He looked at the child as he bent to lift the stroller off the ground and up the steps. It was a handsome boy with startling blue eyes that held him ransom for the few heartbeats it took to climb the stairs — it felt like an eternity.
“Thank you for helping me with the stroller, I’m Sally,” the woman said when they reached the top.
“I’m Jude and it was no bother,” he said, his eyes on her baby.
“Got any kids of your own Jude? Because you seem to feel awfully at home staring at mine,” Sally said, lifting her baby to cradle him in her arms.
Jude looked at the child as he bent to lift the stroller off the ground and up the steps
“I used to,” he said so quietly; she would have missed it if she had not been paying total attention to him.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, a shadow crossing her countenance.
“My wife and I lost our daughter a few months ago — she was 9, surgeon’s mistake,” he said mechanically, trying to dissociate from the pain.
“Would you like to carry him?” Sally asked.
“I would.. love that,” he said gratefully.
As he returned the baby to his mother, he noticed something around his neck; it was a handmade chain attached to a pendant, and as Jude studied it, he turned pale.
As Jude returned the baby to his mother, he noticed a handmade chain attached to a pendant around the baby’s neck |
“Are you okay?” Sally asked. “You don’t look so good.”
“Can I have a glass of water?” he asked shakily.
“Of course, just a minute.”
The following day, Jude was on the first flight back home, and he had important news for his wife. “I had the weirdest encounter yesterday with a woman and her child,” he told her when he arrived home.
“The child had a handmade necklace around his neck — just like the one we buried with June,” he said.
“What?” Megan said, shocked. “That can’t be; it was a hand-made accessory my mom made me before she sent me to the orphanage. It has my initials on it and I received it when I came of age. There’s only one of it.”
“That woman did not strike me as a grave-digger,” Jude said, and after a moment of silence, added, “Could it be that you have a sister?”
It planted the possibility in Megan’s mind, and the following day, he took her to the woman’s house. There, she discovered that the woman had a replica of the pendant but with different initials.
When Jude got home, he told his wife about the encounter he had with the woman and her child
“This pendant seems important to you both so I feel it’s only right to tell you that I it was around my neck when I was sent to the orphanage as a child,” Sally told them.
“The thing is,” Jude told Sally, “my wife also owned such a pendant but we buried it with our late child, which is why we’re shocked to see a replica.”
Thinking this was more than just a coincidence, they all decided to find out more, so they hired a private detective who took a picture of the cross, and after several days, returned with information about the place it was made.
With Jude busy with work, the two women decided to go to the shop where they met a gray-haired old man.
“I remember this piece,” he said with a slow smile. “I made three of it a long time ago for this woman who wanted it for her three kids.”
“Three kids?” Sally asked.
The two women were stunned when they realized they had another sibling
At the question, the man fixed her with a penetrative state, then he pointed out how similar both ladies looked to the woman from the past. “You have her chin,” he said to Sally, and to Megan, he said, “You have her eyes.”
The women had gasped, but the man continued.
“She loved you very much and was very bothered about getting all three of you adopted which is why she sent you all to different orphanages. She made the necklaces in hopes that one day it might bring you together. I don’t usually do this but because you’re her kids, I’ll check my sale records and tell you her name.”
At that, the two stunned women turned to look at each other. This meant that there was a third person who had the same cross — they had another sibling!
“Why did she leave us?” Megan asked.
“She was a sick woman and would not have survived long enough to raise you,” the man replied quietly, then left to check his records.
The shop owner checked his sales record for the name of their mother
Soon, the two women were talking to the private detective again, giving him specific instructions about who he was to track down. “Her name is Lily Solander and she lived in Houston, Texas between 1999 and 2003,” they told him.
In the meantime, Megan and Sally, who could not believe their fortune started spending time together. They eventually found their brother in a remote city on the other side of the country, and just in time. They found out that they would have lost him if they had just been a couple of days late because he had almost lost his will to live.
The man was homeless and had no prospects in life. He had been adopted at an orphanage by a good family but after they died in an accident; their families kicked him out so they could get their wealth.
He had been on the street ever since, unable to move forward in life and forced to beg to survive. When he met the women, he learned of their mother’s story, and his heart ached for her and his sisters. He wept bitterly as his sisters hugged him, grateful for their reunion.
Meanwhile, Jude, who had started this journey, sat in his car, watching over his wife’s sister’s child. “I’m not crying,” he told the baby he cradled in his arms as he reached for his tissue. “You are.”
Jude was in the car close to tears while cradling his wife’s sister’s baby
What did we learn from this story?
Everything happens for a reason. Sad as it was, the tragedy Megan and her husband endured was what eventually led to the discovery of her siblings and mother. It was a silver lining, a desperate and emotional win for a woman who had just lost something precious.
Be helpful; you don’t know where it might lead. When Jude decided to help Sally that evening, he could never have guessed where that would lead. His reward for helping her was his wife’s discovery of her family. She had lost something precious, but in the end, gained something equally priceless — her family.
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