A woman who never had children greets a girl claiming to be her daughter happily and takes her into her heart and her home, but years later the truth comes out.
If it wasn’t the worse day of Patsy Malone’s life, it was in the top three. She had woken up feeling despondent and had caught a glimpse of herself in the full-length mirror in her bedroom. Was that who she had become?
Pretty Patsy Malone with her sunny smile, the girl who could dance all night, had been transformed into this frumpish creature with straggling gray hair and deep lines of disappointment bracketing her mouth.
It was then that the doorbell rang, and Patsy hurried downstairs in her old dressing gown and tatty slippers, never imagining that this visitor would change her life.
Patsy nearly tripped on the hall carpet as she opened the door, so she was doubly off balance when someone threw eager arms around her and gasped, “Mama?”
Patsy pushed whoever it was away. “Excuse me?” she uttered and stared in astonishment at the girl standing on her doorstep. She was young, very young and pretty and her big blue eyes were staring at Patsy with hope and fear.
Love is what makes a family, not biology.
“I’m sorry,” the girl said. “Are you Patsy Malone?”
Patsy pulled her dressing gown together and nodded. “Yes, I am.”
“I’m…my name is Amelia…I’m your daughter…” the girl said. “I’ve been looking for you forever. I grew up in the orphanage, and I was so afraid you wouldn’t want me. I’ve been so alone…”
Patsy opened her mouth to say that she wasn’t her mother, that she didn’t have a child, but something stopped her. Hadn’t she been just as alone? Hadn’t she been frightened lately, imagining old age with no one to love her, remember her when she was gone?
“Amelia,” Patty said. “I always, always wanted you!” And it was true. Patsy’s dream had been to have a family, especially a little girl, but her fiance, Buddy, had died in a car accident and Patsy had never looked at anyone else.
This girl with her big blue eyes even looked a little like Buddy. She was the child she and Buddy should have had if the fates hadn’t been so cruel. So Patsy opened her arms to the trembling, hopeful girl and held her tight.
Amelia spoke to Patsy about the pain of growing up alone, of always waiting for someone to come claim her. Patsy whispered with tears in her eyes, “Oh my sweet girl! If only I could have come for you!”
Amelia was engaged to be married to a lovely man, and it had been meeting his family that had prompted her to look for her own parents. “My father?” Amelia asked Patsy. “Is he alive?”
Patsy, seeing Buddy’s beautiful blue eyes in Amelia’s face shook her head. “No, he died, and after that, I couldn’t…I’m so sorry…”
Amelia put her arms around Patsy and comforted her. For the first time, both women found ease in their pain and loneliness. “Mama,” Amelia said shyly. “I wanted to ask you, would you give me away at my wedding?”
Patsy agreed proudly, and no one would have recognized the desolate frumpy Patsy on that day! She wore a lovely pink suit and her pearls, and her hair shone like silver.
It was the best day in Amelia’s life, and Patsy was just as happy as if she had been the bride. She walked Amelia down the aisle and gave her away as proudly as if she were her own child.
“She is my own,” said Patsy to herself, “Because I want her and whoever had her gave her away…And I’m not hurting anyone, am I?”
Two years later Patsy’s happiness doubled when Amelia gave birth to a little girl, the tiniest most perfect baby. “Oh she’s a rosebud!” cried Patsy happily, cradling her granddaughter for the first time.
“Oh, Mama,” Amelia cried. “That’s the perfect name!” And so they named the baby Rosebud (though Patsy thought she’d be Rose to everyone).
But as Rose grew, Patsy’s conscience started to bother her. “This happiness,” Patsy thought, “Is stolen from someone else. Amelia and Rose aren’t really mine. I’ve done a terrible thing, and Amelia will never forgive me!”
“Amelia,” Patsy said, “We need to talk. Do you remember the day you came to my house?”
“Oh, Mama,” Amelia said. “I do! You turned the worse day of my life into the best!”
Patsy took Amelia’s hands in hers and said, “My dear I want you to know that I love you, I will always love you and be here for you, but there’s something you need to know…”
“Mama,” Amelia cried. “You’re starting to scare me! What’s going on?”
Patsy whispered, “That day you knocked on my door, I was so unhappy, so alone, and you asked me if I was your mother…And I said yes… but I’m not!”
“Mama,” Amelia asked. “Is that all? Do you know why it was the worse day of my life? I had the addresses of two Patsy Malones, and the first one was my birth mother. She asked me if giving me away the first time wasn’t enough of a message.
“I was devastated, I couldn’t believe it, so I knocked on your door, and you wanted me. You are the mother I should have had, you are my REAL mother, and don’t you ever forget it!”
What can we learn from this story?
Love is what makes a family, not biology. Even though Patsy and Amelia weren’t blood relatives they became a loving family.
Telling the truth brings peace to the anxious heart. Patsy was afraid Amelia would reject her but discovered that she was hiding her own secret.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.