Life for Victor Grumman got a lot harder after his mother passed away. Victor had never been quite as smart as the other boys, but he’d made it through school, and afterward, he got a job as a delivery man.
Mom looked out for Victor, took care of all the details, banked his salary, paid his taxes. Then when mom died, things had started to go wrong. Victor’s brother Allen sold mom’s house and told Victor there was nothing left over.
Victor went to live in a facility Allen found for people who had a hard time living alone. Victor hated it. His mom’s brother used to visit once in a while and tell him to be patient. Then Uncle Vern died too, and Victor was alone in the world.
The facility got a new manager and things became unpleasant, with lots of rules and regulations. So one day Victor just packed his bag and walked out. He went to Allen’s house where he lived with his wife and children, but Allen told Victor he had to go back…
That night, Victor slept on the street, but when he woke up, his suitcase was gone along with his wallet and all his money. It was the beginning of a hard and terrible phase in his life.
He was living on the streets with no one to help him and no one to turn to. His little book with the addresses of the live-in facility and Allen was gone, and his memory had never been good.
Soon, one year followed another, and somehow Victor managed to survive. He learned to stake out his territory and the cardboard box he slept in and defend it from others as desperate as he was.
He slept at the shelters when he could and ate at the soup kitchen. He learned to survive in the streets of Los Angeles alongside thousands of other homeless men and women living from day to day, one crust of bread at a time.
Victor would probably have died on those streets and been buried as an indigent John Doe if he hadn’t met Mark Tyrrel. Mark was a policeman and a good, kind man.
He had noticed Victor sleeping in an alley while on patrol one night, and the next day he brought him a blanket. Victor thanked him with tears in his eyes, and from then on, Mark would stop by and buy him a hot cup of coffee and a doughnut.
One day they started talking. “My mom always put my money in the bank,” Victor explained. “But I forgot the name…”
“The name of the bank?” asked Mark. “Maybe if you tell me your last name I can see if I can find out if you have an account in one of the major banks.”
“My name is Victor Albert Grumman,” Victor said proudly. “And my social security number is 023 482 323. Mom made me learn it by heart and I never forgot it, even though my memory isn’t very good.”
Just because someone is living on the streets doesn’t mean they are friendless.
“I think your memory is excellent, Victor,” Mark told him. “You remember your friends and that’s the most important thing!”
That afternoon, Mark asked his superior officer for permission to investigate Victor’s identity, find out if he had any kind of resource or family that could take him in. What he discovered astonished him.
Victor was quite right. His mother had opened a bank account in his name when he started working many years ago, but the astonishing thing was the amount of money in the account: over $1,000,000!
According to the bank, the money had been deposited in Victor’s account by a lawyer who was carrying out the last wishes of a Mr. Vernon Masterson. Mark couldn’t wait to tell Victor the news!
“Victor,” he asked. “Do you know a Mr. Vernon Masterson?”
Victor shook his head sadly. “Not anymore, Uncle Vern died long, long ago.”
“Well,” Mark said. “Uncle Vern left you a lot of money, and it’s all in your bank account. I’ve started a process with social services to see that you have access to your money, and someone to help you get your life together.”
“That’s very kind of Uncle Vern!” said Victor gratefully. “He was very upset cause there was no money left after Allen sold mom’s house. He swore something awful. Maybe that’s why he left me that money!”
This story interested Mark! Immediately he started investigating and discovered that Victor’s mom’s house had sold for an enormous amount of money and that since she had named Allen Victor’s guardian in her will, her oldest son had pocketed the lot!
Allen had, in fact, stolen his brother’s share of the inheritance instead of protecting and caring for him. Mark was very angry for his friend, and immediately contacted a lawyer he knew to act on Victor’s behalf.
Before long, the lawyer was knocking on Allan Grumman’s door and telling him Victor was suing him for his share of the money and the accrued interest of the 40 years he’d been living on the streets.
Allen was very upset, but he ended up giving over the money, afraid he’d be arrested and sent to jail for embezzlement. As for Victor, he now has a lovely little house all his own where he is very proud to welcome his best friend Mark for coffee at least once a week.
What can we learn from this story?
Just because someone is living on the streets doesn’t mean they are friendless. Mark’s willingness to help Victor led to the discovery that he was a wealthy man.
Sooner or later we pay for our sins. Allen thought he’d gotten away with stealing from his brother, but he ended up having to fork over the money, with interest.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.