A man becomes worried when he sees his young daughter sneak out of the house every evening, so he decides to follow her and makes a surprising discovery.
How well do we know our children? Do they live secret lives? Michael Rolson discovered that his daughter Tammy had been hiding a secret from him, a huge and very serious secret.
It all started one afternoon when Michael forgot to give 10-year-old Tammy a message. Tammy had gone up to her room to play video games before dinner — or so she told her father, but when Michael walked into her room, she was gone.
Michael walked downstairs and asked his wife Angela if she’d seen Tammy. “She’s up in her room, I just made her a sandwich and she took it up…” Angela said puzzled.
Michael shook his head. “She’s not there, honey!” he said.
“Maybe she’s in the backyard, or in the treehouse?” Angela suggested, and so Michael went outside to look for Tammy. But his daughter was nowhere to be found.
Michael even went next door to see if she had gone over to see her best friend Olivia. Neither Olivia nor her mom had seen her… Where could she be? Michael was getting seriously worried when he heard humming from his garden.
And there was Tammy on the swing, kicking her feet happily and singing to herself! “Tammy!” cried Michael. “Where have you been?”
“I’ve been right here, in the garden, dad, looking for elves…” Tammy said smiling.
A single act of kindness can transform a life.
“Elves,” muttered Michael to himself. “But I searched the whole garden…”
Tammy was so cheerful and relaxed that Michael decided to drop the subject. However, the next day, he was on the lookout for Tammy — and she disappeared again!
Again Michael searched everywhere, including the cellar and the garden shed. No Tammy! Then she simply walked into the kitchen complaining that she was hungry!
“But I made you a sandwich an hour ago, Tammy!” cried Angela.
“I’m a growing girl, mom!” she cried. “Are you trying to starve me?” And so of course, Angela made her another sandwich.
Michael just watched her more and more carefully. He didn’t know what was going on but it was worrying him. He went up to his daughter’s room and knocked on the door. “Honey, where were you this afternoon?” he asked.
“I was in the garden, daddy!” said Tammy with a big innocent smile.
“I looked for you,” Michael said. “And I didn’t see you. Maybe the elves hid you…”
But Tammy just giggled. “Don’t be silly daddy, elves are make-believe.” But while he was chatting to his daughter, Michael’s curious eyes were scanning the room and saw a piece of paper on the ground that seemed to have been torn from a diary.
The fragment read: “…the old house on Oak Street that used to be grandma’s…” His mother’s house? His mother had lived just two blocks away from Michael and his family, and when she had passed away two years before, he had inherited it.
Angela kept pressuring Michael to sell the old house, but he was reluctant to lose his childhood home. Was Tammy playing in the old house? He was determined to find out.
The next day, at the time Tammy usually disappeared, Michael was standing across the street from his mother’s old house, and sure enough, she ran up the driveway and opened the front door.
To Michael’s astonishment, someone met her at the door, a thin elderly woman with snow-white hair…For a fraction of a second, he thought he was seeing a ghost!
The woman turned and Michael saw that she was much older than his mother had been and much frailer. He crossed the street and called out: “Tammy!”
Tammy stopped and her mouth gaped in surprise, while the woman covered her face in fright. “Daddy!” cried Tammy. “Don’t scare my friend please!”
And then Tammy told her father that she had found the woman — her name was Betty — sleeping on a park bench and had brought her to grandma’s house. “It’s all empty daddy,” she explained. “And Betty was so ill and cold…”
Tammy had been caring for Betty, bringing her food, and visiting her every day. “But don’t you have a family?” Michael asked Betty. “Someone to care for you?”
Betty shook her head. “No, my son died long ago, and my grandson hasn’t been to see me in years. The people at the home… They were horrible to us. They’d scream at us, spank us like children…”
Michael was horrified. “Well Betty, you stay here, but I’m turning on the water and lights, and getting you a proper bed and food!”
Thanks to Tammy’s loving little heart, Betty found a home, and her community discovered they were capable of great kindness.
What can we learn from this story?
A single act of kindness can transform a life. Tammy’s generosity saved Betty from the streets and helped her find a permanent home.
If we all work together, we can change the world. Tammy’s neighborhood discovered the power of pulling together for a good cause.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.