Episode 10: A Hope and A Future
Celebrating Rita’s win at the Miss Postal Delivery pageant, Oliver, Norman, and Shane decorate the DLO with balloons and streamers. As Rita walks in the team bursts into song and cheers. Rita gushes but insists that she’s still the same person and doesn’t want to be treated differently. And to prove her point, she presents the team with a big dusty box full of lost letters. Given her recent accomplishment, Oliver deems it only fitting that Rita chose the first letter. As luck would have it, Rita selects a “NIFTS” letter. With only two words on the letter, it’s clearly a personal note that was Never Meant For The System, “NIFTS.” The letter reads:
"Dear Pastor Thomas, You don't know me but I've heard you're a good man. And that's why I'm asking for your help. I don't know what else to do. My Sweet Joshua has a heart condition and needs medical care I can't give him. "Please, Pastor Thomas, get him the help he needs so he can have a hope and a future. And tell him how much I love him. I can only pray that one day he will be able to find it in his heart to forgive me for what I've done."
Written on a shelter bulletin, the unsigned letter captivates the team so much that they don’t notice Norman walk away. As they discuss possible scenarios for the abandoned Joshua, Norman offers a detailed explanation of the adoption process. Puzzled, Shane asks why he knows so much about adoption. It’s then that Norman reveals he was adopted at age 8. At 16, his adoptive parents convinced him to sign up on the National Adoption Registry and a year ago he received a letter from a family member. Unsure if he was ready to read it, Norman only now musters the courage to read the letter. It turns out the letter is from a very eager Ms. Ardis Parker-Pennington-Paine, Norman’s biological grandmother.
In the mean time, the DLO team locates the shelter where the lost letter originated. The current pastor vividly remembers that night 30 years ago when, as a child, he stumbled across the letter and baby Joshua. The pastor says that eventually Joshua was taken by child services and also had his heart condition treated. After being taken in by a local adoption agency, Joshua’s whereabouts became a mystery. The pastor is able to provide the team with a card from the adoption agency. Later, the lawyer for the agency agreed to contact Joshua, but stipulated that any further contact would be up to Joshua. At Mailbox Grille, the team eagerly awaits the arrival of Norman’s grandmother Ardis. As the doors burst open, an elegant woman makes her entrance. The vision of Ardis Parker-Pennington-Paine captivates all of the Postables. Ardis immediately heads for Oliver and begins to comment on his stunning good looks. Slightly uncomfortable, Oliver politely directs Ardis toward Norman, and the two share a long overdue embrace. Shortly after, Shane gets an email from Joshua requesting a meeting for the following day. Overcome by a sense of accomplishment, Oliver remarks, “We're bringing families together right and left this week! The Postable’s sense of satisfaction is short lived. When Oliver and Shane meet Joshua he says the letter means nothing and that his mother isn’t the woman who threw him away. Meanwhile, Norman and Ardis enjoy some long overdue quality time while touring a local cave. During the tour, Ardis reveals that Norman’s mother tragically died two years before. Later, during lunch, Norman talks about his feelings for Rita. Ardis encourages him to live life without regrets and tell Rita how he feels. Fresh with encouragement from his grandma, Norman presents Rita with a gift he’d had tucked away. The gift, an “unsquashable” stuffed crab, is a unique reminder of Norman’s unwavering faith in her. At the same time, Oliver and Shane return, slightly down, from their meeting with Joshua. As they talk about the meeting, Rita catches a glimpse of his picture and immediately recognizes him as a state championship winning soccer coach. It turns out that Joshua is actually a twin and Rita’s photographic memory just gave new life to the investigation. When Oliver and Shane meet Joshua’s twin brother Matt, they learn that he still lives with his birth mother. The news of his twin hits Matt hard while his mother struggles to explain her situation. Oliver does his best to comfort mother by telling her that Joshua’s heart condition was been treated and that he is very successful. Back at the Mailbox Grill, Ardis, Rita, and Shane sit and talk over a cup of coffee. As they talk, Ardis suffers what appears to be a heart attack. She is rushed to the hospital where the entire DLO team gathers. While she will need surgery, as luck would have it, her surgeon is none other than Joshua. Somehow, before the successful surgery, Ardis managed to make a few choice phone calls. One call, to Joshua’s twin Matt, convinces him to show up at the hospital. As Matt talks to a nurse his eyes glance past the DLO team and onto his twin brother. The two immediately know who the other is. The two men sit together and begin to make up for lost time. As they talk, their mother, who also received a call from Ardis, shows up at the hospital. She slowly walks toward her sons, happy that they have been able to meet. Joshua stands up, walks toward her, and stammers, before falling into her arms and sharing a long awaited embrace. While Joshua has found it in his heart to forgive his mother, Oliver must now confront his feeling towards his wayward wife. While trapped in the bank vault with Shane, Oliver began to compose a letter to his wife Holly. Earlier, while looking for a pair of tweezers in Oliver’s desk, Shane stumbled upon the unsent letter. Shane assures Oliver that she didn’t read the letter, but she can’t hide her feelings about the situation and about him. Unsure if the letter is begging Holly to come home, or if it will signal the end of their marriage, Shane challenges Oliver to conquer his fear and mail the letter. So, standing in the pouring rain, Oliver makes his choice and drops the letter into the mailbox.