Poor Woman Lets Old Stranger Spend the Night at Home, Next Day Finds Envelope on Doorstep — Story of the Day
A poor woman goes the extra mile and offers shelter to a stranger at her home. The next day, she receives an unexpected reward for her generosity.
“Mom! We are not going to do this! How could you let someone in like that? Take a look at her! She stinks of garbage and her clothes…oh god… NO, MOM, WE’RE NOT DOING THIS!” Anne Potter yelled at her mother Cynthia for bringing a scruffy old woman inside their home and offering her a night’s refuge.
“We can’t let her leave, hun. She looks frail, and I don’t know if she’s eaten anything in a long time. And she believes her son Samuel is still living here. She has no idea we moved here a month ago. She claims she’s here because she has nowhere else to go and wants to meet him.”
“I’m so sick of your charity, Mom! Why do we have to keep helping everyone when we are barely scraping by? And why can’t you just tell her we don’t know anything about Samuel? We haven’t paid the bills for this month, Mom, and I have to cut back on my expenses every month!”
“Try to understand, honey. She looks disturbed. I believe she went through a traumatic experience. Can’t we make adjustments for tonight? You could see how much she was crying. Please, Anne?”
“Fine, mom! But I’m not going to make any other compromises. I’m not going to let her into our room!”
“We only have one room, honey, and we can’t let her sleep on the floor. She’ll fall sick, and you know how cold it is.”
Kindness is like a boomerang; it comes back in some form.
“You’re impossible, mom! Why are you so concerned about her?”
“Because a little kindness goes a long way, honey. Let’s not refuse her, especially considering her state. Please, honey. She’s old and…”
“Whatever, mom! I don’t care!” Anne mumbled angrily as she moved across the living room and sank on the couch. Cynthia quickly made some tea and sandwiches and brought them to the elderly lady to eat. “Please have some tea, ma’am. You’ll feel better.”
“Oh, dear. Why don’t you tell me when my Samuel will be back? I’ve come to visit him. I haven’t seen him in over a year. And he didn’t even bother to call me! I’m wondering where my son is.”
“Ugh, ma’am,” Cynthia paused. “He’ll be back shortly,” she lied. “In the meantime, why don’t you have something to eat and make yourself at home?”
“Oh my goodness, thank you very much. But who are you? And who is this young lady? Are you staying with Samuel?”
“Um, ma’am…yeah, we stay here. My name is Cynthia, and that is my daughter Anne.”
“You have a lovely daughter, Cynthia, just like my Sammy. I’m…ugh… Caroline – yes – Caroline, that’s my name,” she continued, struggling to remember.
“Nice to meet you, Caroline. Do you live nearby?”
“Where do I live? I’ve come to meet my Sammy. He hasn’t visited me in a long time. He always says he will, but he never does. So I came here to surprise him. When will he come home?” Caroline asked hopefully.
Cynthia’s heart sank when she saw how hopeful Caroline was to meet Samuel. What would happen if she discovered she and Anne didn’t even know who Samuel was? Would she be able to handle it?
After helping Caroline to bed that night, Cynthia felt as if sleep had left her eyes. As she and Anne slept on a mattress on the kitchen floor, she kept worrying about what she would tell Caroline the next morning. She noticed the old lady didn’t seem to recall much. She had difficulty telling us her name. She couldn’t even recall where she lived. I’m hoping she’ll remember better tomorrow, she thought.
The next morning, when Cynthia checked on Caroline, she noticed her sitting motionless on her bed. “Caroline, what happened? Are you okay?” she asked gently.
“Uh…who are you? And where am I?”
“My name is Cynthia, Caroline. Last night, you came here to meet your son Samuel. Remember how we talked about him last night?” she replied gently.
At that, the older woman broke down in tears. “Oh, Caroline. I’m sorry. After I lost Sammy, my memories… I don’t recall many. And I believe that’s why I ended up here. I sincerely apologize for bothering you. I am sorry!”
“What?” gasped Cynthia. “Samuel is….”
“He died a year ago, sweetheart,” Caroline revealed. “He got involved with those bad guys, and they killed him. I couldn’t do anything to help him… Sammy, my Sammy, is no longer with me. He will never return,” she managed to finish before breaking down again in tears.
“Oh, Caroline. I’m deeply sorry for your loss. I had no idea you went through so much!”
“It’s nobody’s fault, darling. God had it all planned out for me this way. Thank you for helping me, Cynthia. I shall leave now. I need to go home. You and your daughter are very kind. Thank you.”
“Oh, Caroline, it was no trouble at all. Please take care and let me know if you ever need my help.” Cynthia replied as she gave a note to Caroline with her address and contact number. She also packed some bread and cookies for the older woman before waving her goodbye and heading back to work.
A few minutes later, Anne came running up to her. “Mom! Mom! There’s an envelope on our doorstep. It has no name on it. I’m curious as to who left it. I’m going to leave it on the table.”
An envelope? Cynthia was an orphan, and her husband had died years before, so she wondered who would send it. However, after she opened it, everything began to make sense. Caroline had left it. It contained two thick bundles of cash and a note.
When Cynthia read the note, she couldn’t stop crying.
Thank you for helping me and letting me stay at your home. I saved this money over the years to give it to Samuel in hopes that he would quit doing the terrible things he did and stop hanging around with scary men. But I don’t think there’s any point now. So, I am leaving this money to you. I hope this helps you and your daughter, Cynthia. Thank you once again for helping me.
What can we learn from this story?
Kindness is like a boomerang; it comes back in some form. Cynthia provided shelter to Caroline, and the older woman helped her financially in return.
It costs nothing to be kind. Cynthia was not rich, but she was kind and caring. We should all try to be like her!