A young woman’s impulse to help a grieving little girl ended up turning her life around and bringing her happiness.
How many of us can claim that destiny came knocking on our door? Yet that is what happened to Anna Uriel. In Anna’s case, destiny took the shape of a little girl with big brown eyes, her hair in a braid.
Anna answered the doorbell and found herself staring down at a little girl no more than six years old in a pretty gingham dress. “Hi sweetheart,” she said gently. “I think you have the wrong house.”
The girl shook her head. “No, this is my mommy’s house. Please can you call her?”
“I’m sorry, hun,” Anna said. “I’m the only person who lives here.”
The child started crying. “Please, please! I need my mommy!”
“Hun, where is you daddy?” asked Anna.
“He’s at home. He says mommy’s gone forever, but I know it isn’t true. She’s here!” the girl sobbed.
Anna crouched down and looked the little girl in the eye. “Sweetie, I promise you your mommy’s not here. How about I give you some warm milk and cookies and I take you home to your daddy?”
The girl looked up at Anna sadly. “Okay,” she whispered.
Anna turned to lead the girl into the house, but when she looked around again she was gone. Had it all been a dream? Anna walked next door and knocked on Mrs. Freman’s door.
She told Mrs. Freman about the mysterious little girl. “She vanished so quickly I almost felt it had all been a dream!” Anna concluded.
Mrs. Freman poured Anna some tea. “Your house used to belong to a little family. They had a little girl. Nice people. But the mother became very ill and after she passed away her husband sold the house. That must be the child.”
“Poor thing!” Anna sighed. “To lose her mother so young!”
“I can’t remember their name…” Mrs. Freman said. “It’s my memory…But the little girl… Her name was Cassie!”
“Cassie,” Anna said. “If she comes back, I’ll call the police, take her home. She’s much too young to be wandering the streets alone.” But Cassie didn’t come back and Anna’s life continued as planned.
Anna had always believed in making plans. She’d planned to marry at 25 and to become a mother at 28, but for four years she and her husband had tried to conceive, and still there was no baby.
After a lot of painful treatments, Anna became pregnant, but sadly, she lost her baby when he was only a month old. The doctors told her her chances of having another were slim to none.
Her husband told her quite frankly that being childless was not in his plans, and he didn’t want to adopt. He walked out and left Anna devastated and alone with her shattered dreams.
So Anna could understand Cassie’s pain, the empty place in her life and in her arms where her baby should be. Anna knew how hard it is to let go. She hoped Cassie would come back, but months went by without a visit.
Then one winter evening, there was a knock on her door. There in the doorway stood Cassie huddled in a winter coat, tears freezing on her little cheeks. “Please, lady, I really need my mommy. Daddy’s on the floor and I can’t wake him up. Please, please call my mommy!”
Anna was horrified. She grabbed her coat and her purse. “Honey, Cassie, right? Can you show me where your daddy is?”
Destiny can bring happiness to our door when we least expect it.
The child smiled radially up at Anna. “I knew you’d remember me, mommy! Come!” and she tugged urgently on Anna’s hand and led her to an apartment building three blocks away.
Anna found the front door open, and lying in the middle of a squalid room was an unconscious man. She tried to shake him awake. He stank of alcohol! She dragged him off the floor and onto the couch and walked into the kitchen. It was a disgrace.
Anna set a pot of coffee brewing and started to clean up. Cassie followed her. “Mommy, are you going to make cookies? I’ve missed your cookies!”
“Cassie, I’m not your mommy, but I’ll make you some cookies,” Anna told the little girl. Over the next hour, Anna restored some much-needed order to the apartment and popped a tray of cookies into the oven.
Soon the delicious aroma of cookies and coffee filled the house. Anna filled a mug with coffee and went back to the man. She shook him. “Wake up!” she ordered, “Your daughter needs you!”
The man opened swollen eyes and for a moment his face reflected a dawning hope. “Bess?” he whispered.
“I’m Anna, and your daughter came knocking on my door looking for her mother.” Anna’s voice was harsh. “She needs her father, so sober up and pull yourself together!”
The man struggled up off the couch. “I don’t need you or your help! Get out”
“I’m not here for you, you fool. I’m here for Cassie.” Anna snapped. “And remember, while you were here wallowing in self-pity she was knocking on a stranger’s door.”
Anna kissed Cassie goodbye and walked out. She never imagined she’d see Cassie or her awful dad ever again, but a week later, there was a knock on her door. A tall handsome man was standing there.
“Hi,” he said nervously. “I wanted to thank you and to apologize…”
“I’m sorry,” Anna said bewildered. “Who are you?”
The man blushed. “I’m Jeffrey, Cassie’s dad. I wanted to thank you for what you did for Cassie — and for me. I was so lost in my grief I didn’t realize what Cassie was going through.”
Anna smiled. “It’s okay, I know how hard it is to pull through those dark days.”
Jeffrey looked into Anna’s sad eyes. “You lost someone too?”
“My son,” Anna whispered, tears in her eyes. “After he died, my husband left…”
From then on, Anna started visiting Cassie and Jeffrey and the three of them helped each other through their grief. One day, Anna and Jeffrey discovered they were in love — Cassie already knew — and they got married.
Two years later, Anna was blessed by an unexpected miracle. She discovered she was pregnant and she and Jeffrey welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Cassie became the proudest big sister in the world.