When Victor saw an older woman unable to pay for her groceries, he decided to help out, although money was tight in his house. But the woman insisted on paying him back with a nice family dinner that became a regular occurrence until her angry daughter told Victor never to come again. However, he later discovered a huge surprise.
“It’s ok. Let me just put back some things,” the older woman at the register said and started picking what to return because she didn’t have the money to pay for everything. Victor was right behind her and felt terrible as he watched her put eggs and milk back. So he stepped in.
“Wait. Don’t put those back. Let me pay for your groceries, ma’am,” Victor offered, getting his wallet out. He mentally calculated the money in his checking account and wondered if he should use his credit card instead. As a single father, money was tight in his household, but he couldn’t let the poor woman return such simple items.
Victor helped an older woman pay for her groceries. | Source: Shutterstock
“Oh, no. You don’t have to do that, son. It’s ok,” the older lady refused, trying to get him to store his wallet away.
“Don’t worry about it, ma’am. I have the money,” Victor lied with a smile. “Think of it as my good deed for the day.”
The lady’s groceries consisted of a few things: eggs, milk, bread, and a tiny piece of cheap cheese. Victor shook his head imperceptively as the cashier ran his card, thinking it was horrible that senior folks couldn’t even pay for their basic items in this economy.
He also helped the woman bag everything. “Can I help you carry them somewhere? You just need to wait for me to pay for my things,” Victor offered.
“I can’t let you do anything more for me without offering something in return. Why don’t you come and have dinner at my house?” she asked.
Victor looked at her stuff and thought he couldn’t possibly impose at her house or eat the few things she had left. “I’ll take a raincheck, ma’am. I have to pick up my kids from school,” he explained while bagging his stuff.
“Oh, bring them. My name is Sophia Hurst. I insist!” Mrs. Hurst demanded and took out a piece of paper from her wallet. After writing her address, she gave it to Victor and walked away with a smile.
He packed his groceries and left the store. | Source: Pexels
Victor didn’t have time to reject her offer again, so he sighed, grabbed his groceries, and left the supermarket. How can I eat her food knowing that she can barely afford the basics? he thought on his way to his children’s school.
Victor became a single dad years ago when his wife left him for another man. She took their only car and skipped town. Now, he was just trying to save for a new one, but it was hard. There was always some outstanding bill or something that needed to be paid. Every month he lost hope that he would be able to reach his goal.
Luckily, they lived in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, a small town where walking around was not that rare. However, Victor really needed a vehicle, as he wanted to get back into carpentry. He was currently working a desk job, but taking some carpentry orders would bring in extra cash and help his family out. But it would still take some time before he could afford the pick-up truck required for that type of work.
He let his worries go and smiled as his children, Martha and Andrew, ran towards him, waiting outside the elementary school entrance. They started walking home, and by the time they arrived, Victor had made a decision.
Martha asked where they were going. | Source: Pexels
“Kids, I want you to finish your homework and get ready because we’re going somewhere for dinner,” he told them.
“Where are we going?” Martha asked, smiling at her father.
“We’re going to a nice lady’s house, and she’s going to cook us a delicious feast!” Victor announced like it was the best thought in the world. Both his kids cheered and went to their rooms. Meanwhile, he packed a few things from his pantry to give to Mrs. Hurst as a thank you. He would also bring the wine he bought today.
His children would benefit from another adult in their life, and Mrs. Hurst was probably a good cook. Although Victor tried, he wasn’t the best in the kitchen, so this would be a nice change.
They all went to Mrs. Hurst’s house, which was not in the best condition, but it was clean and homey. The older woman loved having kids in her house, and everyone loved the dinner so much that they made it a regular thing. However, Victor insisted on paying for all the groceries after that first time.
He knew he needed to save money, but this was more important, as it made his children happy, and Mrs. Hurst craved some company. Therefore, it was worth sacrificing for a little longer. Eventually, Martha and Andrew thought of Mrs. Hurst as their grandmother, and everything was fantastic.
Cynthia yelled at them and shut the door in their face. | Source: Pexels
Unfortunately, Mrs. Hurst’s daughter opened the door one night with a huge scowl on her face.
Victor’s eyebrows raised in surprise and started speaking. “Oh, hello! You must be Cynthia. Mrs. Hurst has been telling—”
The young woman cut him off before he could say anything else. “Shut up. I don’t care. You will leave my mother alone and never return here,” she snapped, crossing her arms and looking at them with disdain.
“I don’t understand,” Victor began, his arms immediately went to his kids as he pulled them behind him.
Cynthia laughed humorlessly and continued. “You don’t understand? Please! You’re trying to take advantage of an old woman! You’re sick! Get out of here and never come back!” she yelled, scaring the children behind Victor’s legs. Cynthia didn’t wait for any more replies from him and slammed the door in their face.
Victor tried visiting Mrs. Hurst on his own throughout the week, but Cynthia was always there and threatened to call the cops. Therefore, he had to stop.
Martha and Andrew were sad as they had grown attached to the older woman, and he tried his best to comfort them, but the whole encounter was worrisome.
He didn’t understand Cynthia’s implication. How could he be taking advantage of Mrs. Hurst? They were just sharing a meal, and Victor was paying for everything. Alas, he might never know. Hopefully, Cynthia would leave soon, and he would get to talk to the old woman again.
Victor worried while walking with a garbage bag in his hands. | Source: Pexels
But Cynthia never left, and Victor stopped trying to reach out.
A month later, Martha remembered that she had left several books at Mrs. Hurst’s house. Andrew also forgot a few things over there, so Victor was forced to make the trip and beg Cynthia to let him get the stuff.
“My mother is dead, you idiot! Here, she left all that stuff in a bag. THAT’S ALL YOU’RE GONNA GET! DON’T EVER COME BACK HERE!” the angry young woman yelled and threw a black garbage bag at Victor, slamming the door afterward.
He couldn’t believe Mrs. Hurst was gone, and before he knew, tears gathered in his eyes. His kids were clearly not the only ones attached to the older lady. Victor also loved Mrs. Hurst, and he never even got the chance to say goodbye. Was she sick? Was there something I could have done? Why didn’t I notice anything? he questioned himself as he walked. But it was pointless. He would never get answers to those queries.
Once he got closer to home, Victor remembered the garbage bag in his hands and opened it while walking. However, he stopped abruptly after spotting an envelope on top of his children’s things. It contained a letter and a car key. His brow furrowed in bemusement while looking at the key, but then the letter caught his attention.
Mrs. Hurst wrote him a letter and had a surprise for him. | Source: Pexels
If you’re reading this, I might not be here anymore. I’m so sorry. My daughter appeared out of nowhere one day. I told her about you and our dinners, and she became enraged. She said all these things about people taking advantage of seniors. Of course, I never believed her for one minute, but I couldn’t stop her. I was right there when she yelled at you and the kids. I’m so sorry about it.
But I hope this will make up for it. I’m leaving you my old car. It’s not new or anything, but I barely ever drove it. I planned to give it to you for Christmas, and I already transferred it to your name. You’ll find all the paperwork inside it. It’s currently hidden at my neighbor’s garage. Mrs. Franks is nice. I told her you would come for it soon. I don’t know if it’ll work for your business, but you can sell it to buy what you need.
I had to hide it from Cynthia. She has never been good with money, and I know she returned to ensure I wouldn’t give you the few things of value I had. And just in case, I told her I sold the car some time ago. Despite her words, I know you and your family spent time with me out of the goodness of your hearts. You don’t know how precious those moments were for me. Thank you. Thank you. Live a great life and give my love to the kids. You should be proud of yourself. You’re doing an amazing job with them!
Martha drew a picture to remember Mrs. Hurst by. | Source: Pexels
Victor realized his tears had fallen when he finished the letter. His fist wrapped tightly around the car key as pain took over, and he sobbed right there on the street. Somehow, the older woman knew he worried about being a single father, although they never spoke about it. It meant so much to hear that he was doing a good job.
That night, he explained to Martha and Andrew that Mrs. Hurst “got sick” and was in heaven now. Both kids cried as she was the only grandmother they had ever known. They comforted each other, and Victor always believed that moment brought them closer as a family.
The following day, Martha drew Mrs. Hurst and their family together. Victor framed it because they never took a real picture to remember her by. It was a simple kid’s drawing, but it was perfect.
A few days later, he retrieved the vehicle from Mrs. Franks’ garage, and it worked great for his carpentry commissions at first. He didn’t have to sell it, but eventually, his business became so popular that he had to buy an SUV. Luckily, he could afford it now.
Both Andrew and Martha learned to drive in Mrs. Hurst’s old car. | Source: Pexels
Mrs. Hurst’s old car remained in his garage until Andrew turned 16 and learned how to drive in it. Martha did the same two years later. They never forgot those dinners with the old woman, who was for all intents and purposes their grandma.
What can we learn from this story?
- Kind gestures come with unexpected rewards. Mrs. Hurst repaid Victor’s kindness with her old car, but she gave his family great memories that would last a lifetime too.
- A few words can mean so much. Mrs. Hurst wrote that Victor was doing an excellent job as a single parent, which meant more to him than anything else.
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