After buying an old crib at the thrift store with her remaining money, Sharon discovered an envelope. The return address was shockingly near her house. But upon opening the envelope, she saw a big wad of cash that could change her baby’s life. Suddenly, doing the right thing was not so simple.
“Are you sure this is going to be alright?” Sharon’s dad asked her after helping her carry the crib she had just bought at the thrift store. She lived in an old apartment building with no elevator, so moving the crib up several stairs was too much for a young woman, especially with a two-week baby in her arms.
“Yes, Dad. It’ll be fine. It’s sturdy, and I can paint it to look new, as soon as I get my next paycheck,” she assured her father and thanked him for his efforts after putting the baby to sleep.
“You should consider moving in with us again, dear. You wouldn’t have to pay as much rent, then,” her dad said again. He had been suggesting that since Sharon revealed her pregnancy to her parents.
Sharon’s entire family was poor, and she lived paycheck to paycheck, working as a waitress. They could pool their resources and be a little more comfortable if they lived together, but she needed her independence. At least, that’s what she thought.
“Child, you are an angel! I can’t believe this!” the woman said after pulling away.
Sharon shook her head “I can’t, Dad. I made this choice when I decided to keep my pregnancy. And I need to do this on my own… But I reserve the right to take you up on that offer if anything happens later.”
Her dad laughed, kissed her cheek, then left.
Her baby usually slept in Sharon’s bed with her. Cribs were so expensive these days, almost like a brand-new bed. However, she found a vintage one at a thrift store and bought it with her last few dollars.
“This will work,” she told herself and started cleaning it. The crib came with its own cushion, but she was planning to clean and sanitize it, then she would see if it was reusable.
She lifted the pillow, patted it, and sneezed at the dust. She threw it to the side, and when the dust cleared, her eyes squinted at the crib. There was an envelope sitting there.
She grabbed the envelope, and to her shock, it was heavier than she expected. She noticed it was addressed to a woman in Florida, but the return address was just near her home in Seattle.
She decided to open the envelope, and her eyes widened at the wad of cash inside. It was enough to change someone’s life. She couldn’t believe someone had just left it with the crib.
“Oh my god!” she whispered, looking back at her baby sleeping on her bed. This was enough to start a college fund for her child or maybe even invest in building her dream business: a hair salon and spa. But was she going to keep it? Could she really do something like that?
Sharon turned the envelope and stared at the return address again. This neighborhood wasn’t filled with affluent folks, so she knew this money had to mean a lot to whoever sent it.
It could mean a lot to her too, Sharon thought, and she could very well keep it. But it was wrong, and she believed that karma had a way of punishing wrongdoers in one way or another. So she grabbed her baby’s cheap stroller and walked toward the address.
“Yes?” a lovely woman answered. She looked disheveled and tired, and Sharon saw several kids running in the background. Other adults were in the house too, and it seemed like she had interrupted a family gathering.
“I’m sorry to bother you, but I found this,” Sharon began and took the envelope from her purse. The woman’s mouth dropped.
“Oh, child! Oh, dear god! Our prayers were answered! Marlon! Janice! Come here!” she shouted and hugged Sharon fiercely after she handed her the envelope.
“Child, you are an angel! I can’t believe this!” the woman said after pulling away. “I’m Shondra, and you can’t imagine what this envelope means to us!”
“Well, I kinda can. It’s a lot of money,” Sharon replied, shrugging her shoulders, smiling.
Janice and Marlon joined Shondra, and they all cheered at the sight of the envelope.
“Come in, child. We were having dinner and discussing what to do after losing this envelope. But you have saved us. You can try my ribs as a thank you,” Shondra insisted, and Sharon entered with her child.
Other women were right there, cooing at her baby daughter, and it was amazing to witness this big family interacting with each other. Sharon had her parents, but they were alone in this world, so their house was never this loud and lively.
Shondra told her that the entire family had been working and selling stuff to raise money for their sick grandmother, who lived in Florida. “But she doesn’t know how to handle the bank, and so we were going to send her the cash,” she explained.
Apparently, Marlon had lost the envelope and couldn’t remember where he left it until Sharon revealed where she had found it.
“Oh my god, I’m an idiot! Of course!” Marlon said, hitting his head as if he was a fool.
Sharon sat down and joined them for dinner, listening to more stories about them. She shockingly discovered that most of them lived in that house, so this wasn’t a family gathering. It was their daily life.
After hearing about them, she recounted her life as a single mother, and they immediately offered to help her in gratitude. Shondra went to her kids’ room, got a bunch of older baby clothes, and said she would babysit whenever Sharon needed it. The family also packed a Tupperware with a ton of their delicious food for her, which she couldn’t wait to eat at home.
Sharon said goodbye, and they thanked her once more from their doorstep, but an idea formed in her head as she walked away. She wanted independence, but seeing this family together as they laughed, worried, and cared for each other, gave her a new outlook on what families should truly be.
She pushed her stroller back to her apartment but pulled out her phone on the way. “Dad, about what you said earlier…can I move back in?” Sharon asked.
Her father laughed. “This will always be your home, Sharon. We’re family,” he said, and her eyes watered, thinking of raising her baby surrounded by love.
What can we learn from this story?
Doing the right thing is usually the hardest decision. Sharon could’ve used that money to make a better future for her daughter, but she made the right choice to return it.
You don’t always have to stand alone against the world. Some young adults think they need to live independently and do everything alone, but you must take all the support and help you’re given. And being around family is so much better.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.