Son Is Ashamed of His Mother, Invites Another Woman to His Graduation — Story of the Day

A son is so ashamed of his one-eyed mother that he hides her away from the world and refuses to allow her to come to his graduation.

Most people didn’t know that Derek Ryder had a mother. When his friends talked about their parents, Derek just clammed up. He never invited any of his friends over to play video games or to watch a movie.

In fact, from primary school all the way to his senior year in high school, no one ever set foot inside Derek’s house, not ever. When he started dating a girl, he’d tell her: “Look, babe, my mother is funny religious, she won’t let me date…” — but it was all a big lie so he wouldn’t have to introduce her.

Derek was ashamed of his mother and made sure no one ever saw her face | Source:

The ugly truth was that Derek was ashamed of his mother. He didn’t want people to know that she was a freak, like something out of a horror movie. Derek’s mom had only one eye, and the left side of her face was a mass of scars.

Gail Ryder had been like that for as long as Derek could remember. When he was little, he hadn’t even noticed — she was just his mom, but as he grew older, he saw how people reacted to her.

His mom wasn’t like other people, he realized, his mom was UGLY. The first day he went to school he saw how the other moms flinched even though his mom wore huge dark glasses and a hat.

“I don’t want you to take me to the gate, mom!” he told her that night.  “I can walk in on my own.”

Derek was in kindergarten when he realized his mom was different | Source: Unsplash

“But honey, all the other moms take their children to class…And you’re still small!” Gail had said.

“You’re a FREAK!” Derek had screamed. “I heard Bobby’s mom say so and now they will all say I’m a freak too!” 

Remorse is a burden the unkind carry for the rest of their lives.

And so Gail had never again come into the school. She’d drop Derek off, and drive away, tears pouring down her right cheek. Her son was ashamed of her, and it broke her heart.

As for Derek, he was fine as long as Gail stayed out of his public life — he pretended she was a recluse, a religious fanatic, anything that would keep people from knowing the truth.

Derek’s mom hid her scars behind dark glasses | Source: Pexels

But when graduation came around, Derek was in a quandary. He had been named valedictorian and the headmaster had clapped him on the back. “Well, my man, I hope we finally meet your mother!” he said. “I want to congratulate her personally!”

His mother? Derek couldn’t bring his mother to graduation! Everyone would know! But what could he do? That night, found himself an agency that represented character actors and he hired himself an actress.

The woman he chose was the perfect image of the woman he’d always wished was his mom. Pretty, kind-faced, unscarred. Derek carefully coached the woman on how she was to dress and what she should say and arranged for his pseudo-mom to pick him up from his home.

When Gail saw Derek in his graduation cape, she gasped. “Derek! Is it today? Oh just give me time to get dressed!”

Derek told his mother he didn’t want her at his graduation | Source: Unsplash

“Dressed? For what?” asked Derek.

“Why, to go to your graduation, honey!” Gail replied.

“You’re not going!” Derek told her coldly. “I’ve spent my entire life hiding you, do you think I want you on the most important day of my life, showing your ugly face?”

Gail’s one eye filled with tears. “Derek,” she whispered. “How can you be so cruel?”

Derek hired an actress to pretend to be his mother | Source: Pexels

“Face it, mom, you’re a freak, OK?” Derek screamed. “I’ve been ashamed of you all my life. I’ve hired someone to take your place, do you understand now?”

Gail was deadly pale. She nodded. “Oh my son,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry…” But Derek had turned his back and was out of the door. Two weeks later, he left home and went to college in California.

Derek never contacted his mother again, but ten years later, he was informed that his mother had passed away. The funeral had been arranged by her friends, but she had left Derek her house, and a substantial estate.

A substantial estate? Derek was stunned. True, his mother had paid for his college education, sending the checks every single month, accompanied by letters Derek never read, but he never imagined there’d be much left.

Derek left home after graduation and he never came back | Source: Unsplash

So Derek flew back home and met with his mother’s lawyer, Terry Arlington. “Well, Mr. Ryder, your mother left you close to $700,000 plus the house, which is estimated to be worth over $1.5 million…”

“But…I don’t understand! My mother lived a modest life…My father left her I believe, and he gave her nothing…” Derek exclaimed.

“It was the insurance, and the compensation, of course,” said Arlington. “Surely you know about those?”

“No!” said Derek bewildered. “What are you talking about?”

Derek received a message telling him he’d received an inheritance from his mother | Source: Unsplash

“Mr. Ryder, when you were three years old you approached a strange dog in the park. When your mother saw that, she threw herself between you and the animal,” Arlington explained. “As a result, she was viciously mauled, blinded, and scarred for life.”

“But…It would have been me…” whispered Derek, tears filling his eyes.

“I’ve always considered your mother one of the bravest and most selfless people I’ve ever known, Mr. Ryder, a true hero,” Arlington said gently. “You must have been very proud of her.”

Derek walked out with the lawyer’s last words ringing in his ears. He walked to the cemetery, found his mother’s grave, and knelt down, tears streaming down his face. 

Derek’s mom had been scarred saving him from a vicious dog | Source: Pixabay

“Oh mom,” he whispered. “You saved me and I treated you so cruelly…Oh mom, forgive me…”

From that day on, Derek vowed to hide nothing about his past. He found one of the few photos of his mom with her big glasses on to hide the scars and put it on his desk. 

Every time he looked at it he remembered her sacrifice and her kindness and remembered how selfish and cruel he’d been.

Derek never forgave himself for his cruelty | Source: Unsplash

What can we learn from this story?

  • Be proud of your mother and father, no matter who they are or what they look like. Derek was vain and selfish and treated his mother with disdain because she was disfigured.
  • Remorse is a burden the unkind carry for the rest of their lives. When Derek discovered his mother was maimed saving him, he never forgave himself for his cruelty.

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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who lies about his fertility problems for years until his son shows up.

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

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