On that particular fine evening in New York, Jude Fiddlestein stepped outside his hotel in an effort to clear his crowded mind. He was a businessperson who flew in for a conference with the hope of growing his acquaintance in the industry.
Just months before, he and his wife Megan had suffered the agony of losing their daughter June in a medical slip-up involving an overworked surgeon. Their course then, was to make certain that those responsible were held accountable and to raise awareness so no one else would be forced through the same tragedy.
After the job was done, Megan curtailed her duties as a hairdresser and channeled her energies into grieving for their little girl, while Jude worked around the clock; all this, in order to fight off the deep anguish of loss.
The conference went well and ran from morning to late afternoon. Jude had planned on catching the first flight back home to Houston, but he was not up for traveling just yet so he stayed an additional night in his hotel room.
Grief had been consuming him until he decided to take a walk at sunset. He was walking for a while, when he saw a woman with two grocery bags, struggling to push her child in a stroller up some steps. Out of nostalgia for his past life as a parent, Jude approached her to help.
“I feel that you need some help. Do you mind?” he asked, smiling.
The woman sighed with relieve: “Not at all, thank you so much!” She stepped aside letting the man to get a hold of the stroller.
He looked at the child as he bent to lift the stroller off the ground and up the steps. A handsome blue-eyed boy was starring at him with curiosity. Jude’s heart sank for a few seconds.
“You are literally a savior, and I’m Sally”, the woman said when they reached the top.
“I’m Jude and it was no bother,” he said, with his eyes on her baby.
“Got any kids of your own Jude? Because you seem to feel awfully at home staring at mine,” Sally said, lifting her baby to cradle him in her arms.
“I used to,” he said so quietly; she would have missed it if she had not been paying total attention to him.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, a shadow crossing her countenance.
“My wife and I lost our daughter a few months ago — she was 9, surgeon’s mistake,” he said mechanically, trying to dissociate from the pain.
“Would you like to carry him?” Sally asked.
“I would.. love that,” he said gratefully.
As he was giving the child back to his mom, his eyes caught some sort of medallion on his neck, as Jude looked closer he went pale.
“Is something wrong?” Sally asked.”You face is so pale”.
“Can I bother you for a glass of water?”
“Sure, just hold on a second”.
The next day Jude was rushing to the airport to fly home as soon as possible, he was itching to tel the news to his wife. “I had the weirdest encounter yesterday with a woman and her child,” he said as soon as he entered the door.
“The kid had a handmade medallion on his neck — just like the one we buried with June,” he said.
“Are you sure?” Megan said, shocked. “That’s impossible; my Mom made it herself and gave me before she sent me to the orphanage. She carved my initials on it and I received it when I came of age. There’s only one of it.”
“Well, I can’t picture this woman as a grave-digger ,” Jude said, and after a moment of silence, added, “Could it be that you don’t know about your sibling?”
Megan couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about the possible reunion, the next morning they flew back to New York to find the woman. There, they discovered that she had a replica of the pendant but with different initials.
“This medallion seems important to you both so I feel it’s only right to tell you that I it was around my neck when I was sent to the orphanage as a child,” Sally told them.
“So as we thought,” Jude told Sally, “my wife also owned such a pendant but we buried it with our late child, which is why we’re shocked to see a replica.”
It didn’t look like a coincidence, so they all decided to find out more, hiring a private detective to scoop all the information about the medallion, and after several days, they knew the place, where it was made.
With Jude busy with work, the two women decided to go to the shop where they met a gray-haired old man.
“I remember this piece,” he said with a slow smile. “I made three of it a long time ago for this woman who wanted it for her three kids.”
“Three kids?” Sally asked.
At the question, the man fixed her with a penetrative state, then he pointed out how similar both ladies looked to the woman from the past. “You have her chin,” he said to Sally, and to Megan, he said, “You have her eyes.”
The women had gasped, but the man continued.
“She loved you very much and was very bothered about getting all three of you adopted which is why she sent you all to different orphanages. She made the necklaces in hopes that one day it might bring you together. I don’t usually do this but because you’re her kids, I’ll check my sale records and tell you her name.”
At that, the two stunned women turned to look at each other. This meant that there was a third person who had the same medallion — they had another sibling!
“Why did she leave us?” Megan asked.
“She was a sick woman and would not have survived long enough to raise you,” the man replied quietly, then left to check his records.
Soon, the two women were talking to the private detective again, giving him specific instructions about who he was to track down. “Her name is Lily Solander and she lived in Houston, Texas between 1999 and 2003,” they told him.
In the meantime, Megan and Sally, who could not believe their fortune started spending time together. They eventually found their brother in a remote city on the other side of the country, and just in time. They found out that they would have lost him if they had just been a couple of days late because he had almost lost his will to live.
The man was homeless and had no prospects in life. He had been adopted at an orphanage by a good family but after they died in an accident; their families kicked him out so they could get their wealth.
He had been on the street ever since, unable to move forward in life and forced to beg to survive. When he met the women, he learned of their mother’s story, and his heart ached for her and his sisters. He wept bitterly as his sisters hugged him, grateful for their reunion.
Meanwhile, Jude, who had started this journey, sat in his car, watching over his wife’s sister’s child. “I’m not crying,” he told the baby he cradled in his arms as he reached for his tissue. “You are.”