David wanted to test his son’s loyalty and obedience so he asked him to donate his inheritance to an orphanage. What the son did surprised everyone around him.
David Attens was a well-known businessman respected throughout the city of Chicago. He was a wealthy man, but he never let his money blind him. He would always help those around him, do charity work, and he wanted his son to be the same.
David raised his son strictly, wanting him to learn about their business early on and for him to learn how to live his life well. However, as Eugene grew up, he started to feel limited by the rules his father imposed on him.
Eugene had no interest in their family business, and instead, always snuck out to parties filled with girls and alcohol. David would also be called into the principal’s office frequently, because Eugene would either cut class or sleep the entire day.
One day, David decided to confront him. “Eugene, this is the third time I’m getting called into the principal’s office this year alone. You’re already seventeen years old, you need to start straightening up before you get into worse trouble,” he said.
“Dad, I’m a teenager. Let me live!” Eugene shot back.
“Oh, Arlene, I wish you were still here,” David thought to himself. He knew that Eugene needed a mother figure in his life, but ever since his wife died, he just couldn’t find himself falling in love with another woman.
One day, while David was at a stockholders’ meeting, his secretary suddenly whispered something in his ear. Eugene was in a local prison for hooliganism alongside a few of his friends.
David’s knees weakened, and he felt like a failure as a parent. On the way to the police office, he suddenly felt his chest tightening. “Pete, I don’t feel well, I think you need to take me to the hospital…” he said weakly.
He tried his best to get his affairs in order despite the worsening feeling in his chest. He directed his secretary to take care of Eugene’s release in prison, and left a voice note for his lawyer on the phone.
After uttering what he wanted to say to his lawyer, he suddenly passed out. A couple of hours later, he woke up on a hospital bed, with wires attached to his body. His son Eugene was beside him in the room, crying.
David suffered a heart attack, and he needed to undergo surgery to try and fix a blocked artery. Before being wheeled into the operating room, he decided to have a moment alone with his son.
“Son,” he called out. At that, Eugene’s eyes lit up, and he grabbed his dad’s hand immediately.
“Dad, I’m sorry, dad…” Eugene cried.
“Son, I don’t think I have much time left. I left you with an inheritance. It’s about five hundred thousand dollars. I ask for you to please pass it on to children who need it more than you. To the orphanage near our house. Can you do that for me? Here is the address of the lawyer who will help you with all of this,” David said.
“Eugene, I trust that you can do this for me. I have trust in you. I love you with all my heart, son. I’ll be watching you from heaven – I hope you can change your ways and live a good life,” he said, squeezing his son’s hand.
Eugene could not understand why his father was suddenly saying goodbye. He was hopeful that the operation would be successful.
Unfortunately, David died despite the surgery. Eugene was devastated, and what hurt him even more was how everyone around him would often call and ask about his inheritance.
“I heard your dad passed. I’m sorry, man,” a friend of his said over the phone.
“Thank you, it’s been hard,” Eugene responded.
“So I heard you got an inheritance! Do you want to invest the money into a business? I know just the right one,” the friend added.
It was a disgusting conversation that Eugene heard not once, but a couple of times in the first couple of days since his dad’s passing. He refused every single one of them, and it made him realize how money has corrupted the minds of those around him.
Instead, once he was able to bid his father goodbye properly, he contacted the lawyer his father told him about. As he promised his dad, he transferred $500,000 to the orphanage near their house.
Once the deal was done, the lawyer handed him an envelope with a letter from his father. The letter read:
“Son, thank you for listening to me. I know now that you have grown up to be a kind young man who knows how to keep his word. I’m proud of you. While I am no longer with you physically, know I will always be watching over you. I want you to keep this for yourself. Do something wise with it and make me proud.”
Eugene smiled and saw an attached check for another $500,000. He handed it to the lawyer and said, “transfer this money to the orphanage’s account.”
“Are you sure? Your father said this one is yours to keep,” the lawyer hesitated.
“Yup, I’m sure,” Eugene said before leaving the lawyer’s office.
Once he got out, he looked up at the sky and smiled. “I’ll earn the money myself, dad. I’ll make you proud. I love you!”
True enough, Eugene got himself into a good college, and two years after graduating with a degree in Business Management, he started his own business that quickly rose from being a Chicago town-favorite to a multi-state franchise.
One day, while walking home from his office, he suddenly started feeling nauseous. His knees weakened, and before he knew it, he lost consciousness on the street.
He woke up in the hospital, confused about where he was. “What happened?” he asked, as he saw a figure in the room with him.
“Hi, I’m Doctor Connaway. I’m so glad you’re awake, you’ve been asleep for half a day,” the figure, which was starting to get clearer from Eugene’s perspective, replied.
“You were very dehydrated. It seems you have been forgetting to eat, too… you were lucky that a little boy found you, and he gave you CPR and called 911,” the doctor explained.
“I’ve been too busy, I keep forgetting to take care of myself. I didn’t realize it was hot out, it must have been too much for my body to handle,” Eugene realized.
After the doctor conducted a couple of tests on him, he was cleared to go home. He suddenly remembered the little boy who helped him, and he decided to find out who he was.
“About the little boy who saved me. Would you know who he is?” he asked the doctor.
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He nodded. “His name is Antoine. He lived in the orphanage just across of where you passed out.”
Eugene couldn’t help but smile. He realized that the boy who saved his life was someone who benefitted from his dad’s generosity. He also realized that his dad was right – he’d always be watching over him, but this time, through other people.
Now a strong believer in the saying “what goes around comes back around,” Eugene continued to work hard on his business, and every year, he would donate a percentage of his earnings to the orphanage near his home.
What can we learn from this story?
Our parents always want what’s best for us. David tried to teach his son a lesson while he was still alive, and it ended up changing his life forever.
Life has a way of giving back to you when you most need it. Eugene never thought anything about his donations to the orphanage, but he realized that his generosity came back to him in an unexpected way.