An old woman secretly started pilfering leftover food from the high-end restaurant she started working in to make ends meet; she was eventually caught by the owner who followed her one day to find out why.
“We’ll be back by evening.” That was the last thing Rosa heard from her daughter-in-law’s lips on the day she lost her and her son, Ron Walter. The couple had brought their daughter Ellie to stay with her while they took some time for themselves.
They had been having fights because their careers seemed to be the priority for them both, meaning neither of them was ever at home long enough to really bond with their child.
They had a nanny who often babysat for them, but for some reason, they had both decided that day that they wanted Rosa, Ron’s mother, to look after the child.
Perhaps a part of them had known they wouldn’t be returning. That was the first thought that popped into Rosa’s head when she received a call that confirmed their deaths from the police department. “What happened?” she asked the officer who called her.
“I’m afraid Mr. and Mrs. Walter have passed away in an automobile accident. If you don’t mind, we need you to make a trip down to the station to identify and collect their remains.”
Those words shocked Rosa so much, the phone almost slipped from her grasp. All the while, she had her eyes on her granddaughter, who had suddenly become an orphan.
“Was that mommy?” the inquisitive five-year-old asked cheerily as soon as Rosa lowered the phone from her ears.
“No, no it was not,” Rosa croaked.
“When will she and daddy be back?”
“They won’t be long now little one, just have patience,” Rosa lied.
The doting granny kept knowledge of the accident from Ellie for as long as she could because she was too scared of the effect it might have on the child.
The first day Ron and his wife did not come home, Ellie threw tantrums because she thought her parents had forgotten her. “Where are they Granny? You promised they would return soon,” she told Rosa.
“I’m sorry pumpkin, they were held up is all, they will return soon.”
Things continued like that for a while until the time came for the burial; Rosa had no plans of letting Ellie miss the chance to say goodbye to her parents, so she decided to speak to her.
The older woman had also been dreading the revelation because of how empathetic she was; it would break her to share the news, but it was her granddaughter’s tears she did not want to see.
“Hey, pumpkin,” she called the girl two days after her parents’ deaths.
“Do you know what heaven is?” she asked the girl.
“Mommy says it is where all the good people go when they can’t stay here anymore,” Ellie answered happily.
“You’re a smart one aren’t you?” Rosa replied with a sad smile.
“Daddy says I have his brain,” the little girl boasted before she suddenly looked up and straight at Rosa. “Why are they not back yet?” she asked again.
“I’m so sorry little one, but they will not be coming back,” Rosa told her. “Your mom and dad have both gone to heaven.”
“No!” Ellie cried. “They wouldn’t leave me! Can’t we go where they are?”
“I’m sorry little one,” Rosa said.
“You’re lying!” the little girl shouted, then turned away and ran.
“Ellie! Come here!” Rosa shouted, but the girl was already at the door and out.
Rosa rushed after her, but the sight that greeted her nearly made her collapse; Ellie had run straight into the path of a cycler who had gotten tangled up with her. The little girl was rushed to a hospital where she was declared paralyzed because of trauma to her spinal cord.
Rosa was heartbroken. On top of that, health insurance could not cover the treatment Ellie needed so Rosa had to get a job as a dish cleaner in a restaurant.
There she saw that there were often a lot of leftover food being thrown away, so she began secretly collecting them to feed her granddaughter. Every dime she had was going into the treatment, and these leftovers made sure she didn’t have to spend more on food, so Rosa was grateful.
One day, the owner of the restaurant noticed her bagging up the leftovers of that day and got curious; she looked very familiar to him, and he wanted to know why she was taking the food.
He followed her all the way to the hospital, where he watched her feed a young girl who could only move her head. The man walked in on Rosa spoonfeeding the child, catching her unaware.
When their eyes met, he realized that he knew the woman; she had been his teacher once upon a time and had been very nice to him. “Mrs. Walter…is that you?” he asked.
“Yes, but who are you”? Rosa said
“I was your student…Do you remember? Springfield High School?”
Rosa was lost in thought for a moment, trying to recall who the old student was. She finally did. “Joshua Phillips…,” Rosa said.
“Yes…it’s me, ma’am,” Josh responded.
He had been an unserious student with no interest in education until he was moved to Rosa’s classroom. She had been patient with him, slowly working with him to find out what he liked.
Other teachers lost their patience with him and some even told him he would amount to nothing; however, Rosa had been more like a mother to him.
After learning about her ailing granddaughter, Josh offered to pay for the operation, and the girl was soon able to walk.
Rosa knew she could not repay such a large amount of money to Josh, but the man assured her that she didn’t need to. Instead, he invited her to work for him as a babysitter for his kids.
“Be for my kids what you were for me — a guardian,” Josh told her.
Rosa did so gladly and when her granddaughter was released from the hospital, she got to hang out with his kids. Later on, Josh adopted Ellie as his goddaughter, looking out for her just like he did with his kids.
What did we learn from this story?
- Be kind now; you’ll be glad you were. While Rosa worked as a teacher, she made a good impression on Josh. She could never have imagined that life would bring them together again the way it did, but when that happened, it was for her benefit and all because she had once been kind in the past.
- Don’t give up for any reason. Rosa had to endure a lot of things within a short period of time; her daughter and her family passed away in a car crash, and her granddaughter nearly died when she broke the news to her. Despite all that, when it was time for her to step up and find means to get money for Ellie’s treatment, the woman did not let all the tragedies get her down. She threw herself into the work, and eventually, it paid off.
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 restaurant cleaner who gave leftovers to a homeless boy then became homeless herself the next day.
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 email@example.com