A widowed dad buys an old crib for his twin babies from a flea market and discovers an envelope with a strange message that leads him to something unexpected.
After his wife died giving birth, Karl was forced to raise their twin girls on his own, and juggling work and child care became cumbersome for him. He worked at a construction company and often took on more shifts to be able to afford a nanny for his children.
Unfortunately, one day, he was working his shift when he injured his leg. This made him a liability more than an asset in his job, prompting his employer to terminate him. Dejected, he battled for a month to manage his bills before landing a job as a cashier at a grocery store.
His salary at his new job wasn't handsome enough, but it was a lot considering he had no money and their days were spent on a shoestring budget.
Karl got a job as a cashier after he was fired from the construction company. | Source: Pexels
One day, Karl was home when his neighbor, Mrs. Jones, visited him. She had baked some cookies and wanted to share some with her neighbors. Her heart broke when she saw the twins lying on the couch, surrounded by pillows, because Karl couldn't afford a crib.
"They're so expensive!" Karl complained. "I could hardly make ends meet with my salary, let alone buy a crib."
"Oh dear," Mrs. Jones said, placing a reassuring hand on Karl. "Why don't you get one from a flea market? I know of many mothers who just sell their cribs after their kids have outgrown them! And you can get one at a reasonable price!"
"But Mrs. Jones," he continued. "I have no idea about them. Like, I have never shopped for such stuff…."
"Oh, so that's the problem?" Mrs. Jones laughed. "Listen, Karl. I can come with you to the flea market. How about we go this weekend?"
"That would be very generous of you. Thank you!" Karl replied.
Mrs. Jones offered to help Karl buy a crib for his babies. | Source: Pexels
After browsing through the flea market that weekend, Karl finally bought a crib for his babies with Mrs. Jones' help. He brought the crib home and decided to clean it first. He started polishing the wood, then he removed the old cushion. That's when he discovered an envelope underneath.
He flipped it numerous times, wondering if it belonged to the crib's previous owner. He decided to open it and began to read the letter he found inside. What he read surprised him, to say the least. It said:
Family doesn't always mean blood.
"If you're reading this, I'm glad you bought this crib. I hope this helps your children have a good night's sleep and delightful afternoon naps. After all, what greater delight can a parent have than to watch their children resting peacefully? But the good news is, there's a surprise waiting for you at Station Road. You will find it under house number 93."
Karl was dumbfounded but intrigued. So the next day, he left the babies with his neighbor, Sharon, as he typically did when he was away from home, and drove to the address.
The letter would lead Karl to something surprising. | Source: Pexels
Once there, he found himself in front of an abandoned old house. He figured when the letter said "look under the house," it meant "under the ground," so he began to dig in the backyard.
It took Karl several days to dig the backyard as it was huge, but he didn't find anything. He'd been returning to the house every day after his shift for several days. He even finished digging up the whole front yard, yet nothing.
Dejected, Karl stopped visiting the house, thinking the letter was just a prank. But one day, while working his shift at the grocery store, he discovered another note in the basket where he kept the receipts. It was written in the same handwriting as the previous letter.
"Digging is not what will lead you to it," it said this time. "What you're looking for is under the house. Go to the living room and look under the carpet."
"This time, it better be worth it!" Karl muttered as he slipped the note into his pocket. He returned to the old house the next day and was surprised to discover a secret cache under the carpet.
Karl found the second note among the grocery store receipts. | Source: Usplash
"Jesus! So it was all true?" he wondered as he pulled the cache's latch and discovered a box inside. When he opened the box, he found thick wads of cash inside! It was $50,000 in total! But that wasn't all. There was another note for him. It said:
"I collected this money for my granddaughter, who lived for only three days. I had dreamed about buying her many things with this money, but that day never came. I hope this will help your children."
"Oh my God! That's so terrible! I wonder who the crib belonged to…."
Karl decided to share his find with Mrs. Jones as she was the one who led him to the notes and the money. But when he went to her house the next day, he noticed something strange. There was a sticky note on her door for him.
"....This is my new address, Karl. I'm relocating, but I'll continue getting groceries from your store. I hope you drop by some time to enjoy my delicious cookies!
– Mrs. Jones."
Mrs. Jones relocated to a new house. | Source: Pexels
Karl was in tears when he read Mrs. Jones' note. He realized it was her all along. Her handwriting gave it away. It matched the one in the letter he found in the crib and the note he'd found in the grocery store. Mrs. Jones had been assisting him all along!
Karl immediately went to Mrs. Jones' new address, and when she opened the door, he hugged her, teary-eyed. "Why didn't you tell me it was you helping us? You've been an angel in disguise Mrs. Jones!"
"I just wanted to help you without hurting your dignity, Karl," she said, patting him on the back. "I knew if I offered you the money, you'd never take it. I had to do it this way…."
"How do I even thank you, Mrs. Jones?" he cried. "After reading your note about you losing your granddaughter, I was thinking about how difficult it must have been for you. So I want to propose something to you …. Would you like to be my daughters' grandmother? I sincerely hope you wouldn't say no..."
Karl thanked Mrs. Jones for stepping in for his twins. | Source: Pexels
Mrs. Jones' eyes welled up. "Oh! Look at you! You made me cry! Do you think I'd ever refuse such an offer? I'd love to, sweetheart. I'd love to..."
So Karl bought a bigger house and proposed to Mrs. Jones that she move in with them. The older lady accepted the offer and sold her old home. She became a loving grandmother to Karl's twins and a part of his happy family.
What can we learn from this story?
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a widowed dad who didn't sleep the whole night trying to figure out how to introduce his pre-teen daughter to age-related changes.
This story is inspired by the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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