A young single mother buys an old tricycle at a flea market for her toddler and is astounded to find a name she knows and a mysterious address on the handlebars.
Audrey Davids was a lonely little girl. She grew up with only her mother and she always fantasized about having an older brother. One day, while she was playing dress-up, she found an old photograph at the back of one of her mother’s drawers.
It was Audrey and a boy sitting on the front lawn playing! At the back of the photo was written: ‘Colin and Audrey, ages 5 and 3.’ Audrey took the photo to her mother, excited by the idea that she had a brother or maybe a cousin, but her response shocked her.
Grace Davids grabbed the photo from Audrey’s small hands. For the first time in her life, Audrey’s mom screamed at her. “Don’t you touch this ever again!”
Audrey started crying. “I’m sorry mommy, I’m sorry! I just wanted to know who that boy was!” she sobbed.
Grace took a deep breath. “Audrey, that was your brother Colin, but he is gone and it hurts mommy a lot to talk about him,” she said in a calmer voice. Grace put the photo away and they never talked about it again, just like they never talked about Audrey’s father.
Life has a way of bringing people together.
When Audrey was twenty-two, Grace passed away from a sudden heart attack, leaving her even lonelier and in a precarious situation. Audrey was six months pregnant, and her boyfriend had walked out. He felt he was too young to be a father.
Audrey didn’t feel ready for parenthood quite yet, but she decided to have her baby and keep it, and Grace had supported her decision. “I’ll help you, Audrey,” she said. “I’ll be here for you always.”
But one afternoon the phone had rung and a voice on the other side told Audrey that her brave, loving mom was gone. Audrey had somehow managed to keep herself together, to go through the motions. She had a baby to think about.
Grace had left her their little house, and her insurance had paid out. It wasn’t a lot of money but if Audrey was very careful it might be enough to get her through to the end of her pregnancy.
When her baby was born, Audrey remembered Grace and the smiling boy in the photo and named her own little son Colin. She went back to her job as a cashier at a local supermarket as soon as she could. Money was tight, and she wanted to save Grace’s insurance money for Colin’s education.
She left Colin with a close friend of her mother’s who lived around the corner from her house. It was a blessing to have someone she trusted looking after her son.
All in all, Audrey felt that she was blessed. She had a home, a job, and a wonderful son — if only she didn’t feel so lonely, and miss her mother so much!
The years seemed to speed by, and before she knew it, Colin was three! He was a big boy with a joyful laugh who liked nothing better than to run around the house on his chubby little legs. “You need a tricycle!” cried Audrey laughing. “So you can go FASTER!”
That weekend, Audrey dropped into the local flea market and was delighted to spot an old tricycle for sale. “How much is it?” she asked the man who was selling it along with a number of other items.
The man looked around quickly. “For such a pretty lady, $10!” he said. Audrey was surprised to hear it was so cheap, but after trying out the pedals and spinning the wheels, she handed over the $10 and happily took the tricycle home.
Of course, little Colin was delighted with it and raced around the yard ringing the bell and shouting at the top of his voice! Then something unexpected happened. One of the handlebars came off.
Colin started crying, but Audrey picked it up and immediately started to fit it back on. Then she noticed something. There was a label on the underside of the handlebar and it read: ‘Property of Colin Davids — Wisteria Road, #23, East Glenwood.’
“That’s my brother’s name!” Audrey gasped. “Maybe that’s where we used to live? Maybe people there will remember mom, and tell me more about my brother and my father…”
The next day, Audrey drove out to Wisteria Road and knocked on the door of number 23, a pretty house with white shutters and bougainvillea climbing the walls. A kind-faced man in his twenties opened the door.
“Hi,” said Audrey shyly. “I’m sorry to disturb you but have you ever heard of a Colin Davids?”
The man grinned. “That’s me!” he said. “How can I help you?”
“Look, this is going to sound really strange,” Audrey explained. “But I bought my son a tricycle at a flea market and your name and address were on the handlebar?”
“Hey!” the man cried. “That tricycle was stolen years ago! Fancy you finding it!”
“But the main reason is that you have the same name as my brother, Colin Davis?” Audrey said. “My father was Roger Davis, and my mother’s name was Grace.”
The man looked surprised. “Wow! That’s so weird! My dad’s name WAS Roger Davis too, but my mother’s name is Sarah.” Then he turned and called, “Mom! Could you come out here please?”
A woman around Audrey’s mom’s age came out smiling, then she stopped dead when she saw Audrey and she grew pale. “Finally,” she said softly. “Thank God!”
“Mom?” asked Colin in surprise. “What’s going on?”
Sarah had tears in her eyes. “Colin, this is your sister, Audrey…”
Audrey gasped. “You knew about me?” she asked.
“My sister?” cried Colin. “What are you talking about?”
Sarah took Colin’s hands. “Honey, I didn’t give birth to you,” she explained gently. “But I’ve loved you as my son. Your father divorced your mother — and Audrey’s. It was a very ugly divorce, they couldn’t agree to custody.
“So they made a deal. Grace took Audrey, and your father took you. You were so young, and you started calling me mom, and you quickly forgot the past…So your father didn’t tell you about your sister, and he forbade me to tell you. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the two of you together!”
Audrey was crying. “My mother didn’t tell me about Colin either, she just said he was gone! I thought she meant he was dead…I’ve been so alone!”
Well, you’re not alone anymore, Audrey,” Sarah said. “Your father passed away six years ago, and you have a right to a share of his inheritance, and best of all, you have a family!”
Big Colin and little Colin became best friends and had lots of races on the tricycle. When big Colin married a few years later and had his own little boy, the tricycle passed on to a new owner. That old tricycle became a family heirloom, as precious as any gem!
What can we learn from this story?
Life has a way of bringing people together. Audrey never imagined that an old tricycle would reunite her with her long-lost brother and give her a new life.
We all need love and family. Audrey’s parents separated their children but they never imagined they would die and leave them alone. Fortunately, they found each other.
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