A poor woman struggling to make ends meet is taken aback when she receives a letter from an unknown Jake Reid offering her $200,000.
Callie McCall was forced to step in as the family's breadwinner after her husband, Harry, died of a heart attack while she was pregnant with twins, Bill and Sam. Before the twins, Callie and Harry had two other kids, Peter and Christian, who were four and six years old when Harry died.
Harry and Callie lived in a little town in the countryside and ran a small farm to feed their children. After Henry passed away, there was one lesser hand at work but more mouths to feed. Unfortunately, Callie's work alone was insufficient to keep them afloat. In fact, they had so little money that they couldn't even buy enough groceries sometimes.
Callie worked the farm alone to support her children. | Source: Pexels
One day, Callie was shopping with her children at a neighboring supermarket when Peter approached her with a box of chocolates.
"Mommy, mommy!" he cried. "Can we have these? I want to get two boxes. Bill and Sam can share one, and Peter and I can have the other!"
"Jesus! Why would someone send me so much money?" she wondered.
Callie frowned as she took the box and looked at the price. "Honey," she said. "Your baby brothers are too young to eat these. Besides, these chocolates are expensive, and mommy can't afford them. I love these chocolates as well. They are my favorites... But, let's get them for you next time," she sighed, returning the box to the shelf.
But Peter was adamant that he wouldn't leave until he got the chocolates. "No, mommy!" he said and started to cry. "I want the chocolates! I want them."
"Honey, please," Callie begged, teary-eyed, embarrassed by the stares around them. "I'm so sorry. For now, mommy can only get bread and eggs."
Peter was adamant about getting his chocolates. | Source: Pexels
Christian, who was assisting Callie with Sam and Bill's stroller, explained to Peter that he would get the chocolates for him and not to bother Callie. "I'll get it for you, Peter. I promise. Mommy is not buying these because if we get them later, we can get another box free. We will have more chocolates then! We shouldn't bother mommy this way, okay?" he told Peter calmly and the boy stopped crying.
Christian was only six years old, but he was far more mature and understanding for his age. He knew how difficult it was for Callie to provide for them, so he pitched in wherever he could, from helping Callie around the house to occasionally lending a hand to her on the farm.
At home that day, Christian was very upset that Callie was embarrassed at the store because she couldn't afford to get the chocolates. So he came up with a plan to help her and asked Peter if he wanted to join. Peter adored Christian and always obeyed his older brother, so he agreed immediately.
The following evening, instead of going out to play, they decided to go from house to house, doing simple things like helping people carry boxes, shining their shoes, or getting them groceries in exchange for as little as a few dollars.
Peter and Christian started doing small jobs like carrying boxes to help Callie. | Source: Pexels
One evening, they were passing by the neighborhood cemetery when they saw a luxury car parked right outside it and an older man getting out of the car and walking inside the cemetery.
"Peter," Christian whispered to his little brother. "I am sure that man is very rich. Let's go and ask him if we can polish his shoes. We can get more money to help mommy!"
"Okay," Peter nodded and followed his elder brother.
When they arrived at the cemetery, they noticed the man was kneeling over a tombstone and praying. When the man finished and stood up to leave, Christian and Peter rushed up to him.
"Excuse me, mister," Christian said. "Can we clean your shoes for you? We will only charge you $5 for it."
The man turned around, and he looked at the children, surprised. "Clean my shoes? But why?"
"We do it for everyone in our neighborhood. We are the best shoe cleaners you'll ever find!" Christian said confidently, and the older man laughed. "I see... So, what's your name, best shoe cleaner?"
"I'm Christian, and this is my brother Peter. We always work together!"
Peter and Christian asked the old man if they could clean his shoes. | Source: Pexels
"Hello, Christian and Peter," the older man said with a smile. "Do you realize that young boys like you shouldn't be out at this time, especially alone in a cemetery? Do your parents know you're here by yourself?"
"Daddy can't scold us for that," Peter said suddenly. "He's with an angel, and mommy is always busy. We are poor, and she needs to work a lot."
"Shh, Peter," Christian said, finger over his lips. "I'm sorry, sir. My little brother talks a lot. We just want to help our mother, and we're working to save money so that we can surprise her on Mother's Day.
"She does a lot for us, and we want to repay her. Will you get your shoes polished, please? If $5 is too much for you, we can do it for $4. That and nothing less! That is the last offer!"
The man laughed at the boy's innocence. "Do you go to school, Christian?"
"No, I help my mother at the farm and at home. We don't have enough money, you see…."
"Okay then...." The man took a few dollars from his wallet and handed them to the boy. "You should attend school and have a good education. That will be helpful to your mother. And yes, keep this money and use it to buy something for your mother for Mother's Day. My shoes are good; no need to clean them."
"But that's a lot of money!" Christian said. "We can't take it like that..."
The old man was impressed by the boy's love for their mother. | Source: Unsplash
"Of course, you can," he said. "That's a reward for you. Now go back home. Your mother will be worried about you."
"Thank you! You're very kind. I hope we get to meet again!" Christian waved goodbye to him as he and Peter walked back home.
A week later, on Mother's Day, Callie was busy making breakfast when she heard the doorbell ring. She walked up to the front door and opened it, but she didn't find anyone there. She looked down at her feet and found an envelope on the doorstep.
She initially thought that the letter had been delivered to her by mistake because she had no living relative or friend who would send her anything. After she married and relocated to the countryside, she lost touch with all her friends, and she never had a family because she was an orphan.
As she picked up the envelope to inspect it, she noticed that it bore her address on the top and that the sender's name was a certain Jake Reid. "Who are you, Jake Reid, and why are you sending me a letter?" she wondered as she ripped open the envelope. She was shocked when she found a letter and a check worth $200,000 inside!
"Jesus! Why would someone send me so much money?" She opened the letter to read it and by the time she finished, she was in tears.
Callie was confused when she received the envelope. | Source: Pexels
"Dear Peter and Christian's mother,
I came to your town a week ago. It happens to be my late mother's hometown, and I came to pay my respects to her.
I met your boys when I was leaving the cemetery, and they asked me to let them clean my shoes. Apparently, they were earning money to surprise you for Mother's Day. I hope this letter didn't make its way to you before the boys gave you their surprise.
After meeting the boys, I followed them, and that's how I got your address. This sum I have sent you is all the money my mother had in her account. After her death, I didn't know what to do with the money. By God's grace, I met your children at my mother's grave, and that's when I knew where the money should go.
Your boys are very kind and humble. They deserve to go to a good school and get an education, and I hope they make you proud one day. You are blessed to have such beautiful children. Have a wonderful Mother's Day.
Callie had just completed reading the letter and was in tears when Peter and Christian approached her.
"HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOMMY! WE GOT YOU SOMETHING!" they said in unison, clutching a box of her favorite chocolates and an envelope. They came to a halt, though, when they saw Callie crying.
"What happened, Mommy? Why are you crying?" Peter asked.
Callie was in tears after reading the letter. | Source: Pexels
Callie cried even more when she noticed Christian holding an envelope. "Wha - What is that, honey?" she asked, crying.
"It's your gift, mommy. We got you your favorite chocolates. We also earned a lot of money for you. We made $110!" he said proudly, and Callie just threw open her arms around them.
"My babies…I love you! Mommy loves you! Thank you for being the best sons to me! Because of your good deeds, an angel helped us, and we won't have to struggle anymore!"
Peter and Christian hugged her back, smiling. "Who's the angel, mommy? Did he make you cry?" Peter asked innocently.
"His name is Jake, honey. He sent us money to help us! He says he met you at a cemetery. He didn't make me cry, though. Mommy is crying because she is very happy to have wonderful sons like you!" Callie said, and the two boys exchanged smiles, knowing who Jake was.
What can we learn from this story?
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