And so it was yesterday. A dear friend of mine is the kindest of souls. Though she and her husband have owned lovely homes over the years, I always remember Jenny having everyone else’s furniture cast offs. She used the pieces to their ultimate advantage and her homes always looked like a million dollars, but only because of her remarkable creativity.
Jenny never knew her biological father growing up. Her mom remarried when Jenny was but a few years old, and her mom and ‘new’ dad (who was just always just “her dad”) had a handful of children together, and they all lived happily - or as happily as siblings can under one roof.
In their ailing, sunset years, it was Jenny who looked after mom and dad. She adored them both and treated them like royalty, though her Mom had dementia and it couldn’t have been easy, I never heard Jenny say a harsh word.
Along the way, Jenny made an effort to seek out her real father. During the fifteen years we’ve been friends, she never missed a year to visit him. It entailed leaving her home and kids, but each year she made the effort to cross the continent to visit him for a week.
Her father was a man of very modest means and life had chiseled rough edges on his spirit. But in her inimitable way, Jenny brought kindness and laughter to his very humble home for a week each year. How proud he must have been of her.
Jenny called me yesterday. She’d been crying.
He died earlier this year and Jenny was sad. Sad as one can be about a father with whom she’d forced a connection because of her own kindness. I think if Jenny had found him with his own happy family living somewhere fabulous, she would have let him be. Such is her generous nature. But I think because he was such a sad soul, Jenny continued her promised annual visits, suffusing his small home with happiness while she was there and offering a kind ear and a big heart when she couldn’t be.
Out of the blue just a few days ago, Jenny heard from a lawyer up in Washington State. She was sure he had the wrong number. The man had to repeat himself three times.
“If you are Jenny Bridges, then it is indeed you, and you alone, who will inherit your father’s estate.”
She asked him to tell her again and he did.
She could “hear” the stranger smile. “Your father has left you One Million Dollars.”
Photo Courtesy of Randy Hughes