Lucy was finishing wedding preparations with her mother Natalie when a homeless man handed her a note. She burst into tears after reading it and confronted her mother about its contents. Then she made a decision and surprised everyone when she walked down the aisle.
“Don’t worry, dear. Everything will be ready for your BIG day tomorrow,” Lucy’s mother, Natalie, chirped and ran off to fix another flower arrangement in the main hall of Downtown Cornerstone Church. Tomorrow, Lucy would be walking down the aisle to the love of her life, Travis, and she couldn’t help her sighs as she looked at the white carpet.
Years ago, Natalie told Lucy that her father had disappeared from the picture and wanted nothing to do with them. No matter how hard she insisted, her mother refused to answer more questions or even reveal her dad’s name, so Lucy had no idea who he even was.
Lucy caught up with the homeless man a few blocks away. | Source: Shutterstock
She envied other girls and their fathers at school events, but tomorrow would be even worse. She didn’t have anyone to walk her down the aisle. Travis’ dad offered, but Lucy declined. It is what it is, she thought, resigned, and decided to continue helping her mother with the arrangements.
But just then, Lucy felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around and saw a dirty old man wearing a tattered jacket and a hat. He handed her a piece of paper without a word and walked away. “Wait, what is this? Who are you, sir? Can I help you with something?” Lucy called out after him, but the man kept walking away until he disappeared from view down the street.
Lucy pursed her lips in confusion and decided to read what was in the paper. A few moments later, she started crying, unable to believe its contents.
“Dear, what’s that? Who were you yelling at?” her mother suddenly appeared and peeked over her shoulder to look at the letter. Lucy clenched her jaw and raised the paper to Natalie’s face. The older woman flinched, not understanding why her daughter had done that.
Lucy questioned her mother about the letter. | Source: Pexels
“A man came in and handed me this letter. It says, ‘Congratulations on your wedding. I wish I could be there. Love, Dad.’ Care to explain this, Mom? My dad is a homeless person?!” she uttered, getting angrier and angrier with each word. She was still holding the letter up, but Natalie snatched it from her fingers to take a look.
“I can’t believe this…,” the older woman whispered, covering her mouth after reading it.
“Is this really my father? He's been living in Seattle this entire time and you never told me?!” Lucy wailed as her anger turned to despair and tears started flowing.
“Lucy, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t see the man, but it might be him,” Natalie stuttered.
“You told me my father left and didn’t want to have anything to do with us anymore. That man had a pained expression and clearly came here for a reason!” Lucy yelled through her tears, raising her arm and pointing down the street.
Natalie started explaining. | Source: Pexels
“Don’t yell! Stop so I can explain!” Natalie exclaimed back. Lucy wiped some of her tears and crossed her arms, waiting for whatever her mother would say. “When I got pregnant, your father lost his job and couldn’t find anything at the time. I was the only one working, and I was hormonal. I got tired of being the breadwinner while he stayed at home all day, so I kicked him out.”
“That doesn’t really explain anything,” Lucy countered. “Why didn’t he contact you again?”
“I didn’t let him! I didn’t want him in my life. I was convinced it would be better to do things alone than to be with a useless partner. He tried to change my mind several times, but I wouldn’t listen. When I filed for divorce, he didn’t show up for appointments, so the judge granted it easily. I thought he left town,” Natalie said, shrugging as if it meant nothing.
“This is unbelievable! So I grew up without a father because you DECIDED to parent alone? IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE, MOTHER!” Lucy screamed, her face turning red again. “WHY IS HE HOMELESS NOW?”
Lucy ran off to find her father. | Source: Pexels
“Hush, Lucy! You can’t talk to me like that! What he did with his life after I kicked him out is his own fault! It has nothing to do with me!” Natalie screamed at her daughter.
Lucy shook her head at her mother and ran off. The older woman yelled at her to come back, but she didn’t want to listen. All she wanted to do was find that man.
She ran in the general direction he had disappeared to and looked around desperately. Finally, she recognized the tattered jacket near an intersection and called out to him. “Sir! Sir! Please don’t run off! I want to talk to you!”
The man turned around reluctantly, and his eyes could barely look up at her. Lucy placed a hand to her chest, catching her breath. “I read the note. My mother told me that you left us and didn’t want to be with us,” Lucy explained, beginning to cry again.
The man’s eyes watered too, and he finally spoke to her for the first time. “Oh, girl. That’s not true at all. I didn’t want to leave, but your mother made me,” he said through tears.
“What happened? Why didn’t you fight harder or demand some custody? Anything!” Lucy questioned fiercely.
John could not find a job after getting kicked out and became homeless. | Source: Pexels
“I didn’t have any money. I lost my job and couldn’t find anything. When your mother kicked me out, it was even worse. No one would hire someone without an address. I was in a dark mental place. When your mother refused to let me see you after you were born, I did some things I’m not proud of,” the man continued slowly. “I couldn’t get out of this hole, much less pay for lawyers.”
“I can’t believe my mother would do that. I don’t even know your name.”
“My name is John. But Lucy, I don’t want you to be mad at your mother. She obviously did her best to raise you. My problems… my situation is of my own doing. I only approached you now because I walk around the church often and had seen you and your mother going in and out these past few weeks,” John explained. “I figure you were getting married and wanted to say something.”
Suddenly, Natalie caught up with Lucy. “There you are! You can’t run off in the middle of a conversation just like that!” the older woman exclaimed, but her eyes widened after seeing John.
“Hello, Natalie,” John said but looked down as if ashamed of his appearance.
Lucy drove both her parents to her house. | Source: Pexels
“John…” Natalie breathed and started wringing her hands awkwardly. “I… don’t know what to say.” Both of them stayed still in uncomfortable silence.
Lucy felt like she should scream at her mother some more, but she didn’t want to cause a huge fight between them. At last, she broke the awkward silence. “Ok. Mom, John, let’s go to my house. Come on,” she concluded and waved her hand so they would follow.
Her parents didn't speak the entire car ride to Lucy’s home. But just as they arrived outside Lucy's home, Natalie relented and started to apologize. “I’m so sorry, John. I shouldn’t have kicked you out without any explanation. I still don’t have one. I just did it, thinking it was the best option for Lucy and me,” she justified from the passenger seat of Lucy’s car.
“It’s ok, Natalie. It’s been a long time,” John replied from the back seat, and Lucy smiled tearfully at her mother.
“Well, now is not the time to rehash the past. Tomorrow is my wedding, and my dad needs to look amazing to walk me down the aisle. After that… well, we’ll see,” Lucy interjected. Natalie looked at her daughter in surprise but smiled after a few seconds. John was hesitant at first, but he also grinned.
She would never forget the moment everyone saw her holding her dad's arm. | Source: Pexels
Travis was waiting for Lucy inside, and he beamed after meeting John, although it was a huge surprise. Then he helped the older man clean up and found him a tux for the following day.
Lucy would never forget the moment she appeared at the end of the aisle holding her father’s arm. Everyone turned around and smiled at them in astonishment. Her bridesmaids were particularly shocked, as they thought Lucy was walking alone. But they smiled as the wedding march rang through the church and other guests snapped pictures on their phones.
After the wedding, she and her mother found housing and a job for John. Lucy eventually forgave the older woman for depriving her of a father after seeing how remorseful she was. John also apologized for not doing more back then and worked hard to get back on his feet now that he was off the streets.
A few months later, he got to meet his granddaughter, Vivianne. The older man smiled while holding her in his arms, and Natalie cooed at the baby over his shoulder. Lucy couldn’t be happier.
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