A boy constantly mocks his mother for being poor and not providing him with a rich lifestyle like his friends, but he realizes how wrong he is when karma catches up with him.
“Mom! Mom!” Justin cried happily as he got home from school. “Can we please go shopping this weekend? I need to buy new shoes! Actually, I saw these super cool Nike sneakers, and I really want to get them!”
“Ummm, honey,” his mother, Laura, hesitated. “Can we please push it to next month? I need to sort the monthly bills first, and since you know I was on leave for a few days this month, I’m afraid I can’t get it for you this time.”
“But mom!” Justin frowned. “We have a school trek next week, and all of my friends are going. I wouldn’t have asked for new shoes, but the ones I have are quite old, and the soles have started to wear away. Please, please, mom….Come on…
“I’m sorry, Justin,” Laura said. “I’m afraid I won’t be able to buy the shoes. Can you please forgo the trek this time? I promise that when I get my next paycheck, we’ll buy your shoes first.”
“What? You can’t be serious, mom! You always do this! This is not over!”
“Justin, please. I already have a lot of work to finish. We can discuss that later. Come, have lunch. The food’s getting cold.”
“Leave it, mom. I’m not hungry. You can go back to your work! I won’t go on the trek, and it’s because of you! I HATE YOU FOR THIS, MOM! I REALLY HATE YOU, AND I MEAN IT!” Justin said as he dashed to his room and slammed the door behind him.
Laura’s eyes welled up, but she didn’t say anything. When Justin was just 3 years old, his father declared that he didn’t want to care for them and walked away from their lives. After that, Laura did her best to raise Justin on her own, but no matter how hard she tried, it was never enough for the 13-year-old child.
Justin’s classmates boasted about having iPhones, PlayStations, and expensive video games, but Laura couldn’t provide such things for him. So once, when Justin wanted an iPhone, and she claimed she couldn’t afford one, he lashed out at her. Other times, he mocked her for making the same monotonous sandwiches for breakfast, noon, and even dinner and never letting him order from out.
It wasn’t like Laura didn’t want to provide a good life for Justin, but she was trying her best. She didn’t have a single free minute throughout the day. She worked 12 hours a day and three jobs to support him. But Justin was too lost to notice his mother’s efforts.
Once, on his birthday, when Laura gave him a knitted sweater, he lashed out at her, stating he didn’t appreciate her “cheap” gift and that the party she’d prepared for him with a lot of love and after saving up for him for 3 months was finally canceled.
That evening, when Justin walked away and slammed the door, Laura was really hurt. Justin had often gotten angry with her, but he’d never said he hated her. So those remarks hit Laura hard, and as she slept that night, she continued thinking about it and how her son was growing apart from her.
The next morning, when Justin got to the kitchen to get his breakfast before leaving for school, he noticed the kitchen was in a messed-up state. Dirty dishes were littered all over the place, the table was cluttered with last night’s food crumbles, and his lunch box was in the sink. “Are you serious, Mom? You didn’t even clean the kitchen?” the boy mumbled angrily as he proceeded to Laura’s room.
“Mom! What’s wrong with you? Why isn’t my lunch ready? And where’s the breakfast?” he yelled as he knocked on her door, but there was no answer.
“Mom! Open the door! I’m going to be late for school!” Once again, there was no response.
At this point, Justin burst open the door, and as he walked inside, he saw Laura lying on the floor, unconscious.
“Mom!” The boy sobbed. “What happened, Mom? Open your eyes, please!” He ran to the kitchen for a glass of water and sprinkled it all over Laura’s face, but she didn’t wake up. Worried, he grabbed Laura’s cell phone and dialed 911.
When the ambulance was taking Laura away, Justin wanted to accompany her, but the doctors advised him to stay at home. Mrs. Clemments, Justin and Laura’s next-door neighbor, stepped in to look after the boy.
Justin couldn’t fight back his tears when he saw his mother being taken away. He went back to her room and sank on her bed, teary-eyed. “I’m so sorry, mom. I don’t want anything. Just get well soon.” He sobbed uncontrollably, looking at the photo frame at her bedside, which held a photograph of the two of them.
Suddenly, his attention was pulled to a note kept nearby. He wiped his tears away and reached for the note to see what was written on it, but as he began reading, he couldn’t stop crying.
Monthly calculations: January 2022
Total income this month: $1500
Electricity Bill: $200
Groceries and dairy: $200
Savings for Justin’s PlayStation: $100
Other expenses: $100
Net savings: $100 (Need to start saving for Nike shoes for Justin).”
Mom was saving for my PlayStation? And she even started saving for my shoes?” Justin felt terrible for screaming at his mother. He hurried over to Mrs. Clemments and asked to drive him to the hospital. “Would you please take me to the hospital, Mrs. Clemments? I want to see mom,” he sobbed.
“Please, stop crying, Justin. Your mom will get well soon. I just got off the phone with the doctor, and we’ll see her tomorrow.”
When Justin visited the hospital the following day, Laura was still unconscious. The doctors said she had suffered a stroke, which may have been caused by overwork and stress. Justin felt deeply embarrassed and wanted to apologize to his mother. So, later that evening, when Laura regained consciousness, he went to meet her with a card he’d made earlier on which he’d written an apology for her.
Sorry for troubling you all the time, mom. I’ve always been a bad son to you, but you still loved and cared for me. I’m sorry that I hurt you so much. I will try to become a good boy. You’re the best mom in the world, mom. I love you!”
Laura cried when she read the note and hugged him. “I love you too, honey. Mom never hated you for anything. Thank you for making such a lovely card. I loved it.”
Thanks to that fateful day, Justin became a much better person and a thousand times better son. When Laura returned home from the hospital two weeks later, he arranged a grand welcome party for her with Mrs. Clemments’ help, but that wasn’t all.
He bought her a beautiful dress as a gift with the advance money he’d earned by working part-time at a diner. He also promised Laura that he would help her with her monthly expenses so that she would not have to work three jobs at the same time.
What can we learn from this story?
- Love and respect your parents. Justin never realized how much his mother was sacrificing for him until she was rushed to the hospital due to stress and exhaustion.
- It’s never too late to apologize. Justin learned he was wrong to mock his mom, and he apologized to her by becoming a better son.