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Poor Lady Looks Closely at Pendant Beggar Gave 27 Years Ago & Realizes She Can Pay All Her Debts – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
May 30, 2022
06:20 A.M.
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A woman's act of kindness decades ago is finally rewarded when she discovers the true value of a pendant that the man she'd helped had given her.

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Anna Mullins' life was hard. She had been married for 14 years, and in a way, she still was since her husband had abandoned her and never bothered to divorce her.

Anna suspected that he feared a judge would force him to pay child support for their four children. David had vanished shortly after their fourth child was born, and since then, Anna's lifestyle had deteriorated.

Money was short and getting shorter every day, so much so that she was now considering taking the few bits of good jewelry she'd inherited from her mother to a pawnbroker.

Money was short and Anna decided to pawn her jewelry. | Source: Unsplash

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Anna sat on the bed and spread out her belongings. Here was a tiny gold bracelet her aunt from France had sent when she was born. This was the gold cross her parents had given her for her confirmation...

The delicate gold necklace with tiny pearl flowers and matching earrings had been her mother's and before that, her grandmother's. Her engagement and her wedding ring she'd be glad to sell, but the rest...

Then her fingers touched something at the bottom of her jewelry box. It was an old silver pendant. She lifted it out and exclaimed. "I'd forgotten about this!"

Her oldest daughter peeked around the door. "Hey, mom, are you okay?" she asked.

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"Yes, Miri!" Anna said. "Just looking through some things that might be valuable. If I don't pay the utilities this month, we'll be sitting in the dark and with no water..."

Anna started sorting through her jewelry to see what was valuable. | Source: Unsplash

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"Oh, mom!" Miri whispered, and put her arms around her mother. "I'm so sorry. I wish I was old enough to get a job!"

"NO!" Anna cried. "There is no way you're leaving school! You're not making the mistakes I made, Miri. I won't allow it."

"But mom," Miri protested. "You're already working three jobs..."

"And it's not enough!" Anna whispered. "I've sold the TV, the sound system... those paintings that your father left behind... Now, this is all I have left."

Miri was admiring the pieces spread out on the bed and picked up the old silver pendant. It was round and heavy, and not particularly attractive. "What's this?" she asked.

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Anna smiled. "That pendant has a story!" she said. "When I was eleven, there was an old man who used to sleep in the park across from our school. He looked so thin and lonely...I really felt sorry for him. Especially when Christmas came around, you know? I mean, it never gets really cold here in Florida, but he was so alone.

Anna found an old locket at the bottom of her jewelry box. | Source: Unsplash

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"So one day I decided to put together a Christmas hamper for him. I made some sandwiches and some cookies and I packed in some fruitcake and juice...But I made the mistake of telling my best friend Kelly my plan, and when I set out for the park the next morning, she was outside with two other girls waiting for me.

"They asked me where I was going and started mocking me, calling me 'Mother Teresa' and asking if I was campaigning to become a saint. They followed me all the way to the park, mocking me."

"I would have given that Kelly girl a punch in the nose," Miri exclaimed.

Anna saw a homeless man in the park. | Source: Unsplash

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"Miri!" Anna cried. "We don't hit people! But anyway, to cut a long story short, I took the hamper to the old man and wished him a Merry Christmas and he started crying. Then he reached around his neck and took off this pendant. He said it had been his mother's and the only thing he had left. He told me he wanted me to have it. I didn't want to accept, but he insisted. When I went back the next day, he was gone. I never saw him again."

"Oh," Miri said. "That's a lovely story! So what are you going to do with it?"

Anna sighed. "It's sterling silver, so I'm selling it along with everything else."

"Can I come with you, Mom?" Miri asked. "I don't think you should go alone. Jenny can look after Abel and Lucy."

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Anna prepared a picnic basket for the homeless man. | Source: Unsplash

"Ok, honey," Anna said to her daughter. "Let's just put everything in a bag and we can go. The sooner the better."

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"Can I wear the pendant?" asked Miri. "Just until we get to the pawnshop. I really liked that story!"

The two walked into the pawnshop and waited patiently while the owner did business with several other people. Miri kept turning the pendant over and frowning.

"Mom?" Miri said. "Have you noticed the word 'Darling' engraved at the back?"

"Miri, it's our turn," Anna said. "Please put the pendant in the bag..."

At that moment, Anna's phone rang, and she turned away from the counter to answer it. The man behind the counter looked at the pendant in Miri's hands.

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Anna's best friend and the other girls mocked her for her kindness. | Source: Unsplash

"That's a really old piece," he said. "They used to make those lockets with a secret compartment to hide love letters or locks of hair."

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Miri turned the locket over again and said to Anna who'd hung up the phone, "Mom, the locket has a secret, and I think this little dot over the 'i' is a hole -- it must be the key!"

Anna saw that Miri was so excited that she allowed her to keep the locket. The man bought Anna's jewelry and she walked out with a heavy heart. It was all worth a lot less than she had hoped.

At home, Miri showed her brother and sisters the locket. "The man at the shop said it's a secret! I need a pin to open it!"

Anna decided to indulge her daughter and stuck a pin in the minute opening in the back of the locket. As she did so, she heard a sharp click and the two halves of the pendant swung apart.

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The grateful man gave Anna a locket. | Source: Pexels

Something heavy fell into Anna's lap. She picked it up and held it up to the light. "It's a DIAMOND!" cried five-year-old Lucy. "Look how it shines!"

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"Sweetie," Anna laughed. "If that was a diamond we'd be rich! It's the size of a walnut! It's just a pretty crystal!"

"Maybe it IS a diamond!" Miri cried, and the other children added a chorus of agreement. "Let's take it to the jewelry shop!"

So Anna and the four children piled into her old car and drove down to a fancy mall and walked into the jewelry shop. The man in the jewelry shop looked down his nose at Anna.

"How may I help you?" he asked, but his tone said 'get out quick, you don't belong here.' But that was before Anna plonked the crystal on top of his shiny glass counter.

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Inside the locket was what looked like a huge diamond. | Source: Pixabay

"Can you tell me what this is?" she asked.

"Really!" the man said. "We only do evaluations for regular customers! You can take your trumpery piece of glass elsewhere!"

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"Wait mom," Miri exclaimed. "Diamonds scratch glass!" And before the man could react, she took the crystal and dragged it across his impeccable counter.

The crystal made a terrible noise as it grated on the counter and left a deep, ugly scratch behind. "It's a diamond!" Miri and the man exclaimed at the same time.

The man looked flabbergasted. He took out a jeweler's loupe and examined the crystal for a long time. "Ma'am," he said to Anna respectfully. "This is the clearest diamond I've seen. It has almost no occlusions and it is an old mine cut, probably from the 1800s. A family heirloom, I presume?"

Miri and Anna were shocked when the man told them how much the diamond was worth. | Source: Pexels

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"Yes," Anna said calmly. "It is. I was wondering how I'd go about selling it and what I could get for it."

The jeweler said, "I have a friend who runs a gem auction house. I'll give you his contact. As for what you could sell it for at an auction? It could be $100,000, or a million..."

Anna sold the diamond. It didn't quite reach the $1 million, but it was more than enough for her to clear her debts, buy a house, and put away a cozy little nest egg.

Meanwhile, the pendant became a family heirloom. One day, Miri asked Anna, "Mom, do you think that homeless old man knew what was inside the pendant?"

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"I don't know, my love," Anna said. "Maybe he did..."

Anna bought a house for her family. | Source: Pexels

What can we learn from this story?

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  • Sooner or later, the reward for kindness will come your way. Anna's compassion for the old homeless man was rewarded in a way she could never have imagined.
  • Never give up, because life turns on a dime. Anna was in despair, but the discovery of the diamond changed her life for the better overnight.

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 childless art teacher who is upset when she sees ugly graffiti near her home. But then she discovers that the young artists are homeless and decides to help them.

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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