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Widow’s Son Spends All Her Savings Thoughtlessly, Later Learns She Needs Expensive Operation – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Apr 27, 2022
10:30 P.M.
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A thoughtless young man spends his widowed mother's life's savings only to discover later that she desperately needs the money for life-saving surgery.

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Laurence Davidson was outraged when he learned the disposition of his father's will. "I get NOTHING?" he screamed. "I'm his only child! It should all be mine!"

His mother was in tears, but the lawyer said: "Your father wanted to be sure that your mother has whatever she needs for the rest of her life, surely you understand that?" he asked.

"I understand plenty," snarled Laurence. "I have student loans and an old car, that's what I understand. Why does she even NEED that much money?"

When his father passed away, Laurence expected his share of the inheritance. | Source: Unsplash

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The 'she' Laurence was referring to so coldly was his own mother, Clarice Davidson, who had indulged and spoiled him all his life. You might think from Laurence's attitude that the inheritance in question was millions of dollars but you'd be wrong.

Mr. Davidson had left his wife the little home he'd inherited from his own parents and the $50,000 he and Clarice had managed to save up for an emergency or a rainy day.

Laurence was 24 and had recently graduated from university. He was about to embark on a career as an engineer and Mr.Davidson had been quite sure his young, healthy son would be a success.

His main concern had been his wife and the depleted condition of their finances after his own prolonged illness. "Promise me you won't give the money to Laurence, Clarice," he'd pleaded. "I want you to have something to fall back on!"

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Mr. Davidson had been raised by grandparents who had lost everything in the Great Depression, so he didn't trust banks. He had every cent he'd ever saved in a fire-proof money box in the back of his cupboard.

Under the terms of his will, Mr. Davidson left everything to his wife, Clarice. | Source: Unsplash

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Laurence knew exactly where the loot was -- and he also knew the box's combination -- his own birthdate. So every time he came over to his mother's house for Sunday lunch, he took to dipping into the money box without his mother's permission or knowledge.

The first time he took $2,000 for a weekend in Vegas with his friends; the second time, he 'liberated' $15,000 towards the new car he so desperately wanted. Little by little, he whittled away at his mother's little nest egg until there was almost nothing left.

Then one day, Clarice needed $1,000 for some repairs to the boiler and she opened the money box and saw that it was almost empty -- there was only $3,000 left!

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Clarice immediately called her son and asked him to come over. "Did you take money out of the box?" she asked him. 

Laurence felt uncomfortable, but he answered arrogantly. "So what if I did? I have as much right to it as you!"

Laurence knew where his mother kept her money. | Source: Unsplash

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Clarice had tears in her eyes. "Son, I have never denied you anything," she said. "If you were in trouble and needed money, why didn't you ask me?"

"I wasn't exactly in trouble," Laurence admitted. "But I needed things...I wanted things, and you don't NEED that money, you have your pension!"

"Your father wanted me to have that money put by in case of an emergency," Clarice said. "He made me promise I'd keep it for a rainy day. You didn't just take $500! You stole $47,000 of our hard-earned money!"

"Are you calling me a thief?" asked Laurence angrily.

"Yes," said Clarice with tears in her eyes. "Because that is exactly what you are! You came into my house month after month smiling and eating my food, and behind my back, you were stealing the little I have!

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Laurence started helping himself to his mother's nest egg. | Source: Pexels

"You ARE a thief, Laurence, and of the very worse kind. You've stolen from an old woman who loves and trusted you -- your very own flesh and blood!"

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Laurence couldn't face the disappointment on his mother's face. He couldn't bear to listen to those terrible words that branded him a criminal and an ungrateful son and he ran out of the house.

He didn't see his mother again for over six months until he ran into the son of his father's doctor at a party. "Laurence!" the man said. "I'm so sorry about your mother..."

"My mother?" asked Laurence bewildered. "What do you mean?"

"The operation...My father said it was her only chance but she refused it." the other man said. "Apparently she can't afford it, but without it, she'll survive a few months at the most."

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"You ARE a thief, Laurence, and of the very worse kind." | Source: Unsplash

Laurence was stunned into open-mouthed silence as the other man eyed his expensive suit and watch. "Maybe you could help her out?" the doctor's son said. "You look like you are doing alright..."

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Laurence turned away, scarlet with shame. The suit and the watch were items he'd purchased with his mother's money, and he had no savings of his own. Every cent he earned he spent on keeping up with his rich friends.

The next day, Laurence went to visit his mother and was shocked to see how thin and frail she was. "Mom," he said with tears in his eyes. "I know you need surgery, and I'm here to pay for it!"

Clarice smiled bitterly. "I last saw you two years ago, Laurence. If you had intended to pay anything back you would have. Tell me, do you have $25,000 for my heart surgery?"

Laurence was devastated. "No, mom, but I promise you, I will have it!" he cried.

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Laurence learned that his mother was very ill. | Source: Unsplash

Clarice turned her face away. "Go away, Laurence," she said. "You are only here to salve your conscience, but I won't let you steal my peace of mind like you stole the money your father left me. Go away."

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Laurence was devastated. He called his mother's doctor and asked him about the surgery and his mother's health. "Look. Laurence," the doctor said. "I shouldn't discuss this with you, but I'm afraid there's not much else we can do.

She won't have the surgery. The medical insurance will pay for 80% of the procedure and hospitalization costs, but your mother doesn't have the other 20%. There's no way we can work around that."

"Please, doctor," Laurence said. "Schedule that operation! I promise you that in two months' time I WILL have that money!"

Laurence sold his car and his watch, but he still needed another $9,000 so he found himself two more jobs. One of them was as a janitor in a high-rise building close to his work, another was in a little café across the road from his apartment.

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Clarice's doctor explained that she would die without the surgery. | Source: Unsplash

That was the worse. The café belonged to an old crotchety man who screamed at Laurence constantly, but the café was very busy and he made a lot of money on tips, especially on the weekends.

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Little by little, he raised the money and even asked friends for loans. By the end of the stipulated time, he had the entire $25,000.

On the appointed day, Clarice went into the hospital, but within hours, the doctors delivered bad news.

"I'm sorry," the doctor told Laurence. "Your mother's condition had deteriorated badly. The surgeon has revised the necessary procedure..."

Laurence closed his eyes. "How much?" he asked hoarsely. "Anything, I'll do anything..."

Laurence just didn't have enough money. | Source: Unsplash

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 "I'm sorry, but..." the doctor shook his head. "I usually don't even discuss costs with patients but I know your mom's situation so I asked accounts to give me an estimate -- you will need a total of $50,0000."

The young man was stunned. "$50,000?" he gasped, then he rallied. "I'll get the money, OK? Somehow I'll get that money, you just do the surgery!"

Laurence ran out of the hospital sobbing. He went to the café and he put on his uniform. The old man saw him. "You! Why are you crying? My customers don't want tears in their coffee!" the old café owner said.

Laurence just couldn't take it anymore. "My mother is going to die and it's my fault!" he cried. "However badly you treat me, I deserve it all! I took her money, and now she needs $50,000 for surgery and I don't have it...I killed my mother!"

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Laurence was sobbing, and the old man placed a surprisingly gentle arm around him. "Listen, boy," he said. "I'm an old man, I know about life and making mistakes. You go home now, have a good sleep, and come back tomorrow, OK? You will see, there is always a solution."

Laurence got a second job at a café. | Source: Unsplash

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So Laurence went home, but he didn't have a good sleep. In fact, he didn't sleep at all. The next morning, he walked into the café to see the owner talking to another man. "Laurence!" he greeted him. "Say hello to your new boss!"

Laurence was stunned! The man had owned that café for over thirty years. The old man went behind the counter and got an envelope which he pushed into Laurence's hands.

"Here, this is your money and a little extra for putting up with an old man!" he said. Then he walked out of the door, got into his car, and drove away. 

The new owner said to Laurence: "I'm closing down for a few weeks to remodel, then I'll call you, OK?"

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Laurence walked home and then opened the envelope the old man had given him. Inside was a thick wad of money! He started counting and it came to $25,000!

Laurence shared his story with the grumpy old man. | Source: Unsplash

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Folded in with the money was a note. "Boy," the note read. "You and I are not so different. I've also made mistakes. Long ago my father was very ill and the doctors said surgery could help but he could also get better on his own.

"I should have sold this café, raised the money, but I chose to believe what was more convenient for me -- that he'd get better. He didn't, and he died -- by then it was too late for surgery.

"Yesterday when I saw your tears and heard your story, I knew it was time for me to make amends. I sold the café and I want you to take this money and save your mother the way I couldn't save my father."

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Thanks to a very old and grumpy angel, Clarice got her surgery, and Laurence learned a lesson he would never forget. He paid back every cent he'd taken from his parents' savings and became an honest, hard-working man.

Clarice's surgery was a success. | Source: Unsplash

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Our family is our greatest treasure and we should cherish them. Laurence didn't think about his mother's well-being, only his own selfish wants until it was almost too late.
  • It is never too late to make good on your old mistakes. The old man from the café made up for his neglect of his own father by giving Laurence the money he needed to save his mother's life.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them. 

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a young boy who draws a portrait of the mother who abandoned him when he was very young and goes looking for her.

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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