A janitor met a lonely little girl at the playground and helped her after telling him she had no home. Little did he know that this act would change his life.
James was sweeping the playground when he noticed a little girl near the swings. The sight of the girl reminded him of a life he didn’t think was worth living.
James was a 35 year old porter and unfortunately he hated his life. His life had gone downhill after his wife divorced him and took everything from him. He became depressed and was fired from his job due to poor results. He couldn’t find a decent job anymore. When he needed help with his debts, his family and friends turned their backs on him and left him to fend for himself.
James had somehow paid off the debt with his savings, but he had sort of given up life. But everything changed when his paths crossed with the little girl at the playground.
James broke down inwardly with loneliness. He was miserable, but he had no one to share his sorrows with. When he saw the little girl for the first time, she also seemed lonely and sad. He wanted to ask her why she was alone, but he didn’t, thinking that she definitely had a family and her parents would be picking her up in no time.
But the whole day passed and turned into night, but she didn’t move from the spot. James wondered why no one came to pick up the girl. Was she in trouble? He decided to approach her.
The love of a child can change life.
“Hello, little miss. Aren’t you going home? It’s quite late and children shouldn’t be left out alone that late,” he said. It was getting late and James’ shift was already over for the day. He wanted to make sure the girl was safe before he left.
But she shook her head and swung her feet in the air while sitting on a swing. “I have nowhere to go,” she admitted. “I don’t have a home anymore.”
“What do you mean? Ok, how about you tell me your name?” James asked softly, trying to get her to open up to him. “My name is James and I take care of the playground so that children can play happily here! I work as a porter.”
“I’m Angela,” she said. “Can I please stay here? I don’t want to go to my old home.”
James was concerned. “Are your parents mad at you? Is that why you don’t want to go home?” he asked. He was aware of the nature of the children, so he thought the girl had run away from home. But the real reason broke James’ heart.
She shook her head again. “The other kids at my house said I have to go because a new boy or girl was coming to us. There are a lot of kids there and they don’t like me. They tease me because I’m scared at night. My new one Mom and my new dad are nice, but the kids aren’t…”
“Do you live in a children’s home… with a foster family?” James guessed. He assumed she was trying to tell him she was an orphan.
She nodded. “When Mom and Dad went to Angel, I got a new home…yes, a foster family!” she suddenly recalled. “They told me …”
James felt terrible for the child. She looked no older than seven and had already endured so much. It was indeed too much for a young soul.
“You know, Angela, sometimes kids can be cruel,” he said. “They do bad things and God punishes them when they do bad things. Those mean kids will be punished! I’m sure your foster parents must be worried because you haven’t been home since morning. You should go home. Should I come with you?”
Before Angela could say anything, her stomach started gurgling and tears welled up in her eyes. “I haven’t eaten anything. I’m hungry.”
James started laughing. “Oh no! That’s a bigger problem. How about a hot chocolate and a sandwich?” he suggested.
“Really? You’re not a bad man…” she said softly. “Mom and Dad always told me strangers were bad, but you’re nice. I like you. Thanks for caring about me.”
Angela’s words brought tears to James’ eyes. He’d hated his life for as long as he could remember, but then there was this little girl who told him he was worth something. He was worthy of their praise and gratitude.
“Thanks, honey,” he said quietly. “Shall we?”
James bought Angela a sandwich and hot chocolate but didn’t order anything for himself as he didn’t have enough money. As she wolfed down her meal, he asked her for her address, and although the directions were muddled, James found the address.
He brought her home and found that her foster parents had been constantly looking for her. “Oh honey,” said her foster mom, Caroline, hugging her, “we even called the police because we were so worried.”
“I’m sorry mommy,” Angela said tearfully. Then she told her all about how the other kids teased her. Caroline was upset and said she would make sure she wasn’t bothered again.
Meanwhile, Angela’s foster father, Andrew, thanked James for getting her home safely. He also offered James some money when he saw his shabby exterior and learned he was working as a porter. But James refused.
He waved goodbye to Angela and went home. However, she couldn’t get him out of her head. “You’re nice. I like you,” his mind rang as he tried to sleep.
Then he suddenly remembered how embarrassed she looked when her stomach started making noises and he laughed. He could not believe it! “Wait, did I just…” He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so happy and laughed so hard. Angela had brought this change with her.
From then on, James would visit Angela on the weekends and they soon became good friends.
After enjoying Angela’s presence, James began to see the bright side of life. He had always been unmotivated, but he decided to try harder this time. Because of Angela, he decided to change his life.
“Couldn’t you be my daddy, James? I know my new mommy and new daddy are nice, but you’re like my first daddy,” she said one day, and James felt like he was on the highest peak in the world climbed.
After losing custody of his children to his wife, he had been so lonely. His children didn’t even speak to him. He knew he wanted Angela as a daughter too. However, his financial situation was not stable to raise her.
So James worked very hard and finally managed to get a job at a small private company. The salary wasn’t huge, but it was a small step he was proud of
A year later he was offered a job at another company and this time the position was better. Although everything took time, James regained control of his life
Then the big day came. He filled out the paperwork for Angela’s adoption and shortly thereafter he was the girl’s father.
“We will always miss you Angela. I know James will be the best father to you,” Caroline said to Angela as the little girl left.
James still wonders how things turned out so positively for him. Little did he know that he would help himself by helping the girl, or that she would help him get out of the deep hole he had fallen into.
What can we learn from this story?
The love of a child can change life . Moved by Angela’s gratitude, James was able to see the brighter side of life and get his life back on track.
Do not give up; there is always a silver lining in life . James was depressed and had given up on his life, but after meeting Angela everything changed.
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