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Boy Comes to Lonely Old Lady Daily to Help Her Out Around House, Finds His Late Mom’s Photos There – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Jul 23, 2022
07:40 A.M.
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Arnold started helping Mrs. Catherine Sterling with several tasks around her house for a surprising reason. But he soon discovered his mother's old pictures and found out a truth he never imagined.

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"Why are you helping me, Arnold?" 71-year-old Catherine Sterling decided to ask the 13-year-old boy, Arnold, who started helping her out several weeks ago. He had mowed her lawn, helped with her grocery bags, and much more. Sometimes, he even stayed and baked with her.

She was insanely grateful for his assistance – more than the kid could imagine – as she had been so lonely in the last decade that she almost felt dead.

Catherine was teaching Arnold her famous apple pie recipe, and he was delighted. But her inquiry took him off-guard. He pursed his lips and looked at his feet, still using a roller to work the dough on the counter.

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Catherine was teaching Arnold how to make her famous apple pie. | Source: Pexels

Catherine was teaching Arnold how to make her famous apple pie. | Source: Pexels

Catherine felt terrible for the kid and was about to take back her question, but he finally spoke up. "Because I hate being alone at home," Arnold revealed, shrugging his shoulders.

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"No, honey. This is…it can’t be your mother," the older woman responded. Her voice caught at the end.

The older woman frowned. She had no idea he was alone at home. "What about your mom?"

"My mom died a year ago, and my sister works so much, I would spend all my afternoons alone," Arnold continued, entirely focused on the pie dough, so Catherine knew something else was going on.

"You know you can tell me anything, right? We've spent the last few weeks together, and although I might not know everything, I can give you advice," she offered, preparing the apples for the pie filling.

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"Well… when Mom died, I felt guilty that I didn't get to help her enough around the house. While I was biking through this street every day after school, I saw how you wobbled up the porch steps and thought you might need company," the teen shared, finishing up the dough.

Catherine smiled. What a good kid, she thought. "Ok, I won't pry into much else if you don't want it, but thank you for telling me. I appreciate it. Is there anything you want to know about me?"

"Well…," Arnold said, seemingly thinking hard about what to ask.

They spent the afternoon finishing the pie and talking about things. Arnold also revealed that his sister, Helena, was much older at 33 because their mother got pregnant at 17. She had Arnold many years later.

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Arnold answered her questions, admitting to his regrets after his mother died. | Source: Pexels

Arnold answered her questions, admitting to his regrets after his mother died. | Source: Pexels

Of course, he initially lived with his mother a town away, but when she died, he moved in with his sister in Catherine's neighborhood in Seattle, and that's when he started noticing the older woman having trouble with basic things in the house.

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Clearly, this kid missed his mother and wanted to make up for his guilt, Catherine thought when he left. and she felt compelled to be a mother figure to him for some reason as long as he wanted her to be.

***

A few days later, Arnold was back in Catherine's home, helping her clean out an old closet full of boxes and junk that she wanted to give away. To her surprise, he started searching and looking at the contents of each box.

"You can keep anything you want, although I don't think there's anything valuable in there," Catherine said. She also searched through another box to ensure they wouldn't throw out anything important.

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After some time, Arnold stood up, holding some photos in his hands. Why do you have this?" he asked.

Catherine looked up. "What?" she asked distractedly.

"This is a picture of my late mom!" he said, looking almost angrily at Catherine.

"What? That’s impossible," Catherine replied and extended her hand to see the photos. "Let me see."

The teen boy rummaged through a box of old photos and found something surprising. | Source: Pexels

The teen boy rummaged through a box of old photos and found something surprising. | Source: Pexels

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Arnold almost shoved the pictures in her hand his face frowning. "This is my mother!" he almost yelled.

"No, honey. This is…she can't be your mother," the older woman responded. Her voice caught at the end. The lady in the photos couldn't be Arnold's mother. She was Catherine's daughter depicted in her teens, and they brought harrowing memories for Catherine.

"I'M TELLING YOU THIS IS MY MOTHER!" Arnold finally yelled, and the older woman's eyes widened in shock. The kid had never spoken to him like that, and suddenly, he pulled out his phone, shoving it in her hands. "THIS IS MY MOTHER!"

Catherine grabbed the device and looked at the image. Her eyes widened because although the woman was older than the one in Catherine's pictures, it was her daughter, Sabrina. "This is impossible," she muttered, her eyes going back and forth between the phone and the printed images.

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"So why do you have pictures of my mother?" Arnold asked. His voice had lowered, but there were tears in his eyes.

"Arnold, this is my daughter, Sabrina Sterling," she replied, looking at the kid with brand new eyes.

"My mom's name was Sabrina Cooke," Arnold said, his eyes showing his confusion.

"Did she ever get married? What about your dad?" Catherine asked, almost desperately because Sabrina's name change could finally explain why she had never found her daughter after that fateful night many years ago.

Catherine wanted to hug the kid so badly, but she wasn't sure it was welcome. | Source: Pexels

Catherine wanted to hug the kid so badly, but she wasn't sure it was welcome. | Source: Pexels

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"Mom was never married. My sister and I don't have a father. We don't know who our fathers are, except that they are different people," Arnold answered truthfully, then breathed deeply. "So, if this is your daughter… that means you're my grandmother? Why weren't you in my life? Mom said she had no family."

Catherine stared into the kid's eyes, wanting to hug him and never let go. "Oh Arnold, I want to tell you everything, but I think we need to talk to your sister. She might know more," she suggested because she didn't want to tell him everything without his sister present. She would need to know what happened too.

Arnold called his sister and told her to come to Catherine's address after work. Helena was confused, but she agreed because Arnold had told her about spending time at the older woman's house.

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***

"This is impossible," Helena shook her head, echoing the words Catherine had uttered earlier. They had shown her the old pictures Arnold found.

"Helena," Catherine started and looked at Arnold too. "Arnold, you guys need an explanation. Years ago, when Sabrina came to me and revealed she was pregnant, I… well, I didn't take it too well."

Helena was more understanding than Catherine imagined, considering what had happened. | Source: Pexels

Helena was more understanding than Catherine imagined, considering what had happened. | Source: Pexels

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Helena nodded in understanding. Both she and Arnold knew that their mother got pregnant young, but they thought she was alone in the world.

Catherine continued. "I kicked her out, and Sabrina left town quickly. I spent years trying to find her but couldn't. I guess that's because she changed her last name."

They talked for a long time. Helena and Arnold had many questions, and Catherine answered them calmly and truthfully with all the regret she felt in her heart. She tried to keep the tears at bay when her grandkids talked about their mother's passing. Something she knew nothing about.

At some point, Catherine asked Helena, "Are you angry with me? If you give me a chance, I promise to do my best to make things up to you."

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But she shook her head. "Maybe if we had discovered this years ago, I would be angry. But after Mom died, I understood that there's not enough time with family in this world."

"So, you're our grandma, right?" Arnold chimed in. "We are a family now, right?" His tears started to fall freely.

"If you two would allow, I would very much like to be your grandmother," Catherine replied as her cries continued.

"Yes!" the teen said.

"I would like to try," Helena added with a teary smile. They had been alone in the world for so long, and even as an adult, she liked the idea of having more family members.

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The older woman hugged both her grandkids and promised to never make the same mistake again. | Source: Pexels

The older woman hugged both her grandkids and promised to never make the same mistake again. | Source: Pexels

"Can I give you a hug?" the older woman finally asked, and her grandkids nodded. They all hugged and cried and connected for several minutes.

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When they separated, Catherine promised never to make the same mistake she did to her daughter many years ago. She would be there for Arnold and even Helena, a full-grown adult, for everything they ever needed.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Some coincidences seem like fate. Arnold started helping Catherine because he missed his mother then he discovered that the older woman was his biological grandmother. That's almost too coincidental to believe.
  • Always atone for your mistakes so you won't regret anything. Catherine didn't get a chance to make things right with her daughter after kicking her out, and she regretted it terribly for decades.
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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 boy who saw an old lady's house lights off for several days and decided to investigate.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers 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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