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Flickr / Andy Michael
Source: Flickr / Andy Michael

Grieving Mom Runs into Spitting Image of Her Late Daughter Sleeping in the Street, Takes DNA Test — Story of the Day

Preeti Pillai
Aug 01, 2022
07:00 A.M.
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After she lost her sweet teenage daughter in an accident, Olivia found some solace in helping the homeless. Little did she know that she would run into a young woman so close to home.

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Olivia Freeman was nowhere to be seen. She didn't live in her beautiful old house in Faith Hills anymore. She didn't go shopping with her friends anymore, nor did she ever step out to visit the graves of her husband and daughter, who had both died that year.

Olivia's husband Joseph died shortly after celebrating their 25th marriage anniversary. He and Olivia had been childhood sweethearts, and she had always looked at the world through his kind and eager lens.

When Olivia lost him, she felt as though she had lost her eyesight. But even without knowing how, she powered through her pain for her daughter, Bella. Bella was a shy teenager who loved to dance and go fishing with her Papa. Olivia knew that they probably loved each other more than either of them loved Olivia. 'How lucky am I?' Olivia would often think.

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But her sweet daughter was never the same after Joseph was gone. Bella stepped up to take care of her mother. She even took an interest in the business that her father had left behind. But in every hug or smile Bella tried to offer, Olivia could sense unfathomable pain.

Even before Olivia got a chance to see her daughter perform on stage ever again, Bella died in a senseless car accident. This time, Olivia lost her last shred of purpose.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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She did not have to hide her tears for anyone's sake, but she was too shaken to cry. Life became like a sentence that had been forced upon her, and she couldn't wait to complete it and join her family in the afterlife.

Her friends once cornered her and forced her to visit the graves of Joseph and Bella. But even after coming face to face with their names and epitaphs, Olivia stood emotionless. It was as if Olivia Freeman, the woman who loved life had, herself, turned to stone.

That night, as Olivia was driving home, it rained. With each drop hitting the windshield, Olivia felt more and more overwhelmed. After months of losing her only child, Olivia finally broke down and cried.

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She stopped the car and let her pain out in screams and tears. After an hour or so, a strange sense of calm washed over her. She switched on the wipers and stared onto the road.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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She noticed a woman sitting on the pavement through the blurry wet glass, getting drenched in the torrential rain. She was holding her knees, looking at the skies, and shaking as she wept.

She was sitting next to a bus stop, where she could've stayed dry and warm. Instead, the young woman had chosen to wait for the storm to take her away.

The way out of your pain is through helping others soothe theirs.

Olivia tried calling out to her, but she didn't respond. She couldn't bear to see the stranger get herself ill. She stepped out of the car, got the woman onto her feet, and dragged her into the car.

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Olivia drove to the nearby cafe and gave the woman a warm meal and some hot coffee. The woman accepted every gesture with hesitation.

When Olivia mustered the courage to ask the woman what was wrong, she put down the coffee and said, "I lost my home last year. And now, I lost my child. I have nothing." She struggled to take another bite of her food. "And why were you crying?"

"I have nothing, too."

Somehow, sharing a sliver of her pain with the homeless woman soothed Olivia. As she drove the woman to the homeless shelter where she lived, Olivia made up her mind.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

"This feels right. I will come here every day and do everything I can for the people here."

"Maybe I can lessen the burden of my pain by helping others with theirs."

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Since that day, pieces of Olivia's life began to come together again. She found purpose in serving the homeless and spending time with them.

And it gave her a chance to meet an unexpected stranger: a homeless girl who would've been around Bella's age.

"Oh my goodness, it can't be true!" Olivia had almost screamed in emotional shock the first time she saw her. The girl was a spitting image of Bella. Her name was Annie.

When Olivia saw Annie sleeping on the sidewalk, she thought she was hallucinating. The color of her hair, the shape of her eyes...everything reminded her of Bella. 'Surely,' she thought, 'I am imagining things.' But her friends had the same expression of shock and awe when Olivia showed them a photo of the girl.

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"Annie, I've been meaning to ask you something."

Annie, who had never known the warmth of family, treated Olivia like a mother. She loved how kind, graceful and successful Olivia was.

"Anything for you, Olivia."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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Annie found Olivia's request strange but sensed that it meant a lot to her. She did not hesitate to take the DNA test that Olivia requested.

A week later, Olivia invited her to lunch at her home. Annie was excited to see the place where her role model lived.

And the house did live up to Olivia's tastefulness and humility. Every piece of furniture and antique was tastefully chosen and arranged.

Annie was intrigued by every little detail until she spotted a portrait. An elegant frame above the fireplace held a picture of Annie herself.

"What is the meaning of this?"

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Olivia held Annie's hands and sat her down, beginning to explain:

"That's not you. That's your twin sister, Bella."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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In that big airy living room, the two women talked until sundown. Olivia revealed that the DNA test had turned her life upside down. It showed that Annie and Bella were indeed sisters.

"Bella was adopted," Olivia explained.

This was the first time Olivia had said that out loud. That had been a secret between her and Joseph, and they promised to not reveal it until Bella was 18.

But Bella had died shortly before her 18th birthday.

"I had no idea that the little girl I adopted had a twin. When I confronted the agency, they initially tried to deny it but eventually admitted it. They confessed that there was a mix-up and were too embarrassed and scared to rectify it."

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A whirlwind of thoughts took over Annie's mind. She didn't know how to respond to the genuine possibility that her life could have been different.

All these years she spent homeless, sick, and scrambling for one meal a day, she could have been living a safe, comfortable life.

She tried to imagine what Olivia was going through, but her pain and anger were too intense.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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"You have every right to feel cheated and angry. Take all the time you need. Ask every question you want to. I'm right here."

There was a long pregnant pause in the room, heavy with emotion and anticipation. After a while, Annie looked at her sister's portrait. And with a hint of acceptance, she said, "Tell me about her."

What can we learn from this story?

  • The way out of your pain is through helping others soothe theirs. Olivia hit rock bottom, but when she began serving the homeless, it gave her renewed purpose and ended up connecting her with family.
  • Lost love always comes around in some form. Olivia thought that she had lost everyone. While Annie cannot replace Bella, Olivia found a new person to give all her love to.

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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten up their day.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a grieving widower who finds out that an unknown boy had planted his wife's favorite flowers on her grave, and decides to find out who the little boy is.

This piece is inspired by stories from 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 info@amomama.com.

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