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Cop Shares Lunch with Starving Little Boy and Recognizes His Face — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Mar 12, 2022
09:00 P.M.
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A police officer sympathizes with a sweet, homeless boy who is strangely familiar to him and shares his lunch with him. Then he meets the child's mother and realizes who he is.

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Jack Gordon was starving. It was the end of his shift and he should be going home for dinner, but instead, he decided to stop and pick up a hamburger at a drive-by diner. That decision was to change his life in unexpected ways.

Jack paid for his lunch and picked up the two burgers and fries and a large soda he had ordered at the takeout window. He parked the car close by and unwrapped the first burger. Then he became aware of a small boy sitting on the curb, staring at him with hungry eyes.

Jack Redwing had the feeling he knew the small homeless boy though he had never seen him before. | Source: Shutterstock.com

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"Hey, buddy!" Jack said to the boy who looked to be about seven, "Where's your mom? You shouldn't be out on your own at this hour!"

"My mom works over there," the boy said, pointing at the diner. "She cleans the kitchen, so she only comes out when they close." Jack saw the way the boy was staring at the burger he was holding in his hand.

"Listen, have you had your dinner?" he asked. The boy shook his head dumbly and Jack said, "Well, come on, I'll share with you. I have more than enough!" Jack hopped out of the car and sat on the curb next to the kid and handed over one of the burgers.

There are no coincidences. Life leads us to where we need to be.

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The kid took one of the biggest bites Jack had ever seen and started chewing hungrily. "Hey buddy, slow down!" he said. "Have a sip of this!" Jack handed over the soda and the boy gulped at it eagerly.

Jack Gordon decided to stop for a burger instead of going home for dinner. | Source: Unsplash

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The boy ate in concentrated silence, finished the burger, and started eating the fries. Silently, Jack handed over his own untouched burger and the boy snatched it up. "You're pretty hungry, buddy," Jack said quietly. "When did you last eat?"

The boy flushed. "Mom got me a hamburger last night, and I had some milk this morning. Sometimes the cook gives her leftovers, and then we have food for days -- but lately, there haven't been any leftovers."

"I see," Jack said and felt his heart breaking. "And what about your dad?"

The boy's eyes filled with tears. "My dad's dead. I never knew him, really. He was in prison when I was born. My mom says I look just like him!" the boy said proudly. "And he wasn't a bad man, he just made mistakes."

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Jack ordered two burgers, fries, and a soda. | Source: Unsplash

Jack felt a surge of pity for this kid, fatherless, and obviously living in poverty. It was clear that his mother was doing all she could to care for him because even though his clothes were worn, they were spotlessly clean. Maybe he could help this kid.

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"What's your name, buddy?" he asked.

The kid grinned and something about his grin was eerily familiar. "Jack, Jack Gordon," the kid said and stuck out his hand to shake Jack's.

"How did you know?" asked Jack astounded,

Jack shared his dinner with a hungry-looking boy. | Source: Unsplash

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"Know?" asked the kid confused.

"How did you know my name?" Jack asked.

"That's MY name, Jack Gordon," the kid said. "My mom said my dad named me after my uncle who was the coolest guy."

"What was your father's name?" asked Jack, emotion choking his voice.

The boy told Jack his dad had died in prison. | Source: Unsplash

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"Wesley Gordon," the kid said. "He died six years ago, but I have his photo." The kid took a carefully folded photo out of his pocket and showed it to Jack. Through the tears clouding his eyes, Jack saw the face of his brother with his arm around a sweet-faced woman.

"Jack," Jack said. "I'm your uncle, boy, you're my nephew..." Jack started crying as he recognized his brother in the small astonished face looking up at his. "Let's go find your mom."

Jack walked into the diner hand in hand with little Jack, much to the distress of a tired-looking woman who was cleaning the floor. "Oh no!" she gasped, staring at Jack's uniform. "Is he in trouble?"

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"No," Jack said gently. "Not at all. I'm Jack Gordon, I'm Wesley's brother and I want to help you and Jack."

Jack gave his nephew a positive role model. | Source: Unsplash

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Jack's mother was aghast. "You're Jack? I'm Alice, Wesley's wife...Wesley talked about you so often! He adored you! He always said 'My little brother is going far!' He was so proud of you and so sad you'd fallen out..."

Jack shook his head. "When Wes started down the wrong road, I... I guess I gave up on him, I turned away. Now I wish I hadn't. I knew he'd passed away but I didn't know he had a family. Where do you and Jack live, Alice?"

Alice blushed. "We live in my car," she explained. "I guess I haven't done such a good job as a mom, but he is in school and he's doing well."

"Well, now you and Jack will be living with me," Jack said. "I have plenty of room, and you are family. Please let me do for Jack what I should have done for Wesley."

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His nephew became a police officer just like him. | Source: Unsplash

Alice and little Jack moved in with Jack and they quickly became a dedicated close-knit family. With Jack's support, Alice went back to school and became an accountant, and was finally able to support herself and her son.

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When Little Jack (who was six foot two) graduated from the Police Academy at 22, Alice and Jack were there, and as Little Jack saluted, Alice whispered, "Thank you, Jack. You've given my son a future. On our own, he would have ended up following in Wesley's footsteps. You've made my son a good man, and I know Wesley would have been so grateful!"

Jack hugged Alice with tears in his eyes and knew that somewhere Wesley was smiling too, that cheeky grin his son had inherited.

What can we learn from this story? 

  • There are no coincidences. Life leads us to where we need to be. Jack ended up meeting the nephew he didn't know he had when he stopped for a burger at the diner where his mother worked. Coincidence, or act of God?
  • The love and support of a good family are essential to a child. Thanks to Jack, little Jack grew up in a stable home, with a strong, positive male role model.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a florist who becomes curious when she notices an 89-year-old man buying red roses every day, so she follows him.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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