A few weeks ago, the couple I work for passed a bookcase on the sidewalk while leaving for their dinner date. At the restaurant, they both mentioned how I'd probably like it. So they called our doorman and had the poor guy drag the rain-soaked bookcase in off the street and into our lobby. It was dirty and water-stained, but I knew it had potential.
I bought a block of sandpaper on Friday morning and got to work that night on making the thing sparkle. It's now almost as good as new. I just need to find books and picture frames and knick-knacks to fill it.
Another freebie came from a friend of Gary's. They rent out an apartment in SoHo, and a now-former tenant left a perfectly good toaster oven, plus a few other items. So Gary took them off the guys hands, knowing I could probably use one.
It was grimy and needed some serious scrubbing with goo-be-gone and stainless steel cleaner. And inside were the most random items: a vacuum hose attachment, a purple no. 2 pencil, and a Father's Day card. Huh. So I read it.
On the front cover are two cartoon dogs, a puppy and his dad. The dog, red paper heart in mouth, exclaims "I Love You, Daddy."
And here's the inside:
Hugs and kisses
from me to you
Happy Father's Day
All in all, a pretty average card. Nothing special.
But the hand-written message struck me, quite unexpectedly.
Thanks FoR Letting me grow. im gonna make you reAlly proud of me someday. Mommy can Be a real pain in the "you know what" But SHE's A big reAson Im gonna grow up sweeT, kinD gentle And smaRT so tAke good carRe of heR FoR me, OKy? looKing FORWAD to meeting you soon
Who is this kid, and what is her story? I was completely dumbfounded. If the she really meant "looking forward to meeting you" and not just "looking forward to seeing you," I'm at a total loss. I've never heard of a kid sending her forever-absent father a card on a holiday which, for all intents and purposes, should mean nothing to a fatherless child.
The penmanship isn't fantastic, and the letters are all mixed up between upper- and lower-case, but this kid has to be at least ten or twelve. I wonder how many cards she's sent to her dad, hoping to finally meet him. I wonder if he ever writes her back.
And what about the mom? It sounds like she is already out of the girl's life--or headed that direction. Is this another snapshot from a foster child's life? I've seen too many already, and most of them aren't happy stories.
I don't know why I care so much about this kid. But I do. So much.
If it's safe and good and right, I hope she meets her dad. And I hope he loves her as much as she deserves.