She sat on the curb watching the other kids play. She had a tank top on that was too tight. She was old enough to be wearing a bra but she didn’t own one. This shirt definitely showed her need of one.
Her shorts were too short and they cut off her waist. She kept sucking in her gut to try to gain some room so the button would quit digging in her skin but she couldn’t hold her breath that long.
Her shoes had holes in the tops and she could see her big toe wiggling out of the top. She had no socks on so her heel blisters were burning bad. She did the best to comb her hair before she went out the front door, but it was hot, and she needed a ponytail holder.
She felt like she didn’t fit in. No one liked her and no one ever said a word to her. Her mother sat home with a bottle attached to her hand. She could care less about anything except that she had the drink in her.
Her father had left her mother years ago because her mother was a drunk. But why did papa leave me behind too? Why didn’t he take me with him? Mother doesn’t like me either.
As thoughts twisted through her mind tears began to fall. She took her dirty hand and wiped them away. The kids at the park took no notice of her. She had one friend but since school was out for the summer she wouldn’t see her until school started again.
Across the street from the park a woman cried her heart out as she watched the little girl each day. She and her husband wanted a child so bad, but she was barren. Here was a child who obviously was not wanted and she wanted a child.
That night at the supper table the wife told her husband about the little girl on the curb. Her husband saw the pain in his wife’s eyes. He knew how bad she wanted a child. He wasn’t sure if he could adopt or not. Could he love someone else’s child like his own?
He asked his wife when she usually saw the child and his wife said she sat at the park most of the mornings. She must go home around lunch time. He thought well I guess I can get a look at this kid. It’s the least I can do for my wife.
The next day he cancelled one of his meetings and left for home early. When he walked in the front door he saw his wife standing in the bay window crying. He looked to where she was looking and saw the child.
For a brief moment sadness tore at his heart when he saw her tattered clothes. He looked at his wife whom he loved so much and said, “Come on, let’s take a walk over there. Maybe we can find something out about her.”
His wife smiled and the two walked over holding hands. They stood beside the child who turned and looked up at them. She quickly turned back the other way. The two strangers sat down on the curb beside the child. All three stared off in the distance. No one said a word.
Finally the wife asked, “I see you here every day. Could I ask your name?”
“That’s a beautiful name Mary. Don’t you want to go over and play with the kids?”
“No, no one wants to play with me.”
“Well my name is Sue and this is my husband Ed. We will play with you. Would you like to swing?”
Mary shook her head yes and stood up. Ed watched his wife pushing Mary on the swing. Then noticing the time he told Sue he had to get back to the office. Sue told Mary, “We have to go now. Did you enjoy that?”
“Would you like me to come back and swing with you tomorrow?”
Ed didn’t know what to think. He had seen the lonely eyes in the little girl and he saw the yearning in his wife. He thought about Mary throughout the day and he finally decided he would take his lunch break at 11am from now on. He would at least try to get to know this child for his wife’s sake.
A few weeks of this routine went on, and Mary opened up a little more all the time. She confessed that she had to be home from the park by a certain time or her Mother would come looking for her. She told Sue and Ed about her mother and the bottle. She even told them about her sore tummy due to her tight shorts. She explained about her one friend but she wouldn’t be able to see her until school started.
Ed’s heart kept dropping off pieces of wall each week. He began to picture Mary eating supper with them and tucking her in bed at nights. One day when his day was not so rushed he made a call to his attorney.
In a matter of a month the child’s Mother signed the paper giving up custody. He walked into his home and found Sue sitting by the bay window rocking. He handed her the papers and she read them.
She tossed them on the floor and jumped up giving her husband the biggest hug possible. She grabbed his hand and they raced over to the park. They came upon Mary and this time Mary was smiling at them as they came closer.
They all sat together on the curb. Ed looked at Mary and said, “I can see that your life has not been very good so far Mary. Would you like a chance at having a different life? Maybe some new clothes and new shoes?”
Mary looked at them with hungry eyes. She nodded her head yes but the fear of hope kept her from speaking. Sue patted her lap and asked Mary if she would like to sit on her lap. Mary jumped up and sat in Sues lap. Sue put her arms around the child and hugged her close. She asked,”Mary, Ed and I would love to have a child, but God just didn’t want us to. Now I know why, he knew that we would meet you. Would you like to come and live with us?”
Mary leaned into Sues chest and softly said yes. “Well come on then. Let’s go to your new home and have some lunch. I will show you your new bedroom and then you and I will go shopping for some new clothes.”
With Mary in the middle, Sue and Ed on either side, they walked hand in hand with hearts beaming, smiles showing and love pouring out for all to see.