When I was younger, I always knew my parents had trouble with money.
We would go to yard sales all the time,
and work at and eat at a soup kitchen 4 nights a week.
Then, a new man walked into the soup kitchen and asked me what my name was.
As I told him my name was Angela, my mom handed me the soup ladle and hair net to start getting to work.
After that, I couldn't find the strange man again.
I searched everywhere
and even asked the other men and women in the kitchen
if they had seen him.
My mom thought I was going crazy,
saying there was no one with me when she came to hand me my stuff.
She said I had been sitting alone and that it seemed I was talking to myself.
Later that night in the car, my mom was crying.
I asked her what was wrong
and she told me the rent on our apartment had gone up
and that my grandma had died.
She didn't know how she was going to pay for the funeral and the rent.
I assured her I would help pick up the odds and ends after she made as much as possible.
Once we got into the apartment building,
she asked me to run to the mail room and grab the mail.
I went, and the only thing I could find was one single envelope.
A familiar man called me back saying he thought I left something in our mailbox.
I reached in and pulled out a huge manila envelope that was bulky
but I couldn't tell what was in it.
I brought the envelopes up to my mom.
She opened the first one and found our first super expensive rent bill.
She then walked into her room,
saying she couldn't handle to open the other one.
I looked at the envelope and saw this:
Dear Angela and Family. Love, Your Friend.
I brought it to my mom with shaking hands and asked her to open it.
She ripped it open, tears streaming down her face.
She emptied the contents onto the bed.
I brought a hand to my face, wiping away multiple tears.
There on the bed were countless
checks, all addressed to my mom.
I had a feeling I knew who had sent it, but didn't want to tell my mom.
My friend from the soup kitchen.