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The cold wind nipped at my nose. The trampled snow seeped through my boots and bit at my toes.
It was Christmas Eve and what was I doing… trudging old streets not sure where I was going. I saw a man up ahead passing out little papers. Probably just an ad, I thought.
I wiped my tears and put my head up. But I still couldn’t hide that awful feeling of loneliness that consumed my whole body gripping every part of my mind as if it were a vice grip. As he handed me a paper, he asked me an unexpected question.
“What are you doing out so late? Shouldn’t you be at home?”
At my silence he asked, “Are you an orphan?”
I slowly nodded. It was kind of obvious because there was an orphanage not three blocks away.
“Well you should still be home.”
Annoyed I started to walk away, but he stopped me.
“You’ll be freezing in that little jacket. My daughter is in the truck, she’s about your age. We can take you home to get another one.”
Startled with the mans kindness I muttered,
“I’m not going back.”
“And I’m not going to make you,” he said, “But you look like you could use some food and that tiny jacket is not going to keep you warm.”
“I’m warm enough.” I lied.
“If someone really wanted to give you a gift, would you refuse it?”
I knew what he was getting at.
I sighed heavily, “No.”
He led me to a Chevy pick up about five years old. He motioned for me to get in. I did… hesitantly.
“I don’t bite.” He said grinning.
I didn’t find it funny.
“You’ll have to move over, Jess, we’ve got a visitor.”
The girl about twelve years old moved to the middle to let me have the window.
I was quite thankful. I really did not want to be boxed in. I was also thankful she was there. If it had only been him, I would have run.
I got in and stared out the window. It was silent for a minute as we all sat there. Then he started the truck.
We drove for about fifteen minutes then pulled up in front a medium sized house in the suburbs.
I had been thinking so hard I hadn’t noticed where we were going.
“I almost forgot,” he started, “I’m Rob Simmons and this is my daughter Jessica.”
“Ashley. Ashley Foster.”
I almost made up a name, but something about this man and his daughter made me trust them.
“How old are you Ashley?”
For my small amount of years I had an attitude that didn’t fit my body.
“You up for a late supper?”
I shrugged and opened the door. He led us up a walkway that led to a roomy porch with a swing.
When he opened the door a little boy about four ran out to meet him.
When he saw me he gasped.
“Awe you an o-fane wike me?”
I shrugged. “I guess. Yeah.”
He grabbed my hand and pulled me inside and led me to a table.
“Awe you fwum the o-fnage downtown wike me?”
“Did you wun away? I wan away. They was mean ta me. Then Daddy foun me an dopted me.”
I smiled for the first time in a month. Jessica walked up.
“Don’t worry he did the same thing to me.”
We laughed. Her mother and father walked up carrying a plate for each of us.
They prayed and we started eating.
That’s how I met, as we call him, Uncle Rob.
Uncle Rob led me to the Lord two days later. And, much to my disliking, I went back to the orphanage. With my attitude adjustment more families saw what I was really like and I was soon adopted by a nice Christian family. I didn’t see Uncle Rob often, and was surprised by a knock at the door when I was fifteen. It was Jessica and the little boy, Cole.
“Come in, come in.” I said, “It’s so good to see you.
“Maybe not that good,” Jessica said sadly. “we had a fire two days ago. Mom and dad died.”
I was devastated. She continued.
“We wanted to know if your family would like some extra children.”
As devastated as I was I understood that was there mother and father and tried to help them.
They lived with us.
This was all a wonderful memory for me as bad as it may seem.
That family was such a blessing to me.
I am eighty-four now and just the other day a Boy knocked at my door.
I helped him the same way Uncle Rob helped me.
And I'm glad.
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