Arnold, a successful corporate professional at the age of 33, had completed his master’s degree at the age of 27 while still living with his mother, Eva. Although Eva pleaded with him not to leave home as she was getting older and needed his help, Arnold insisted on moving out to focus on his career.
His mother was hurt by his decision and resorted to guilt-tripping him into staying. “I didn’t raise you to prioritize money over family. I wanted you to be different! First, your father left me, and now, my own son is abandoning me as well,” she told him.
Arnold felt hurt that his mother thought this way of him and decided to cut ties with her. He wanted to work hard not only to provide for himself and his future family but also to give back to his mother. He didn’t appreciate the way his mother guilt-tripped him.
“I’m sorry I’m not the son you’ve always wanted. If you’re so disappointed in me, I’ll make it easier for you. You no longer have to deal with me,” he told Eva before leaving.
Since their argument, Arnold never saw his mother again. He never called or wrote to her until three years later when he needed to return home to get some documents.
Arnold drove for four hours to reach his hometown, where he was born and raised. However, when he arrived at his mother’s house, he was shocked to see it in complete disarray. The house appeared to be in a state of complete disrepair, and it looked like it had not been cleaned in years.
He made his way to the kitchen and discovered that everything was broken and covered in dust. Suddenly, he heard a man coughing from the living room. When he entered the room, he saw his mother lying on the couch with a disheveled man in his forties seated beside her. The man was wearing ragged clothes and had long, unkempt hair.
Arnold was surprised and alarmed by what he saw. “Mom, what’s going on? Who is this man? What happened here?” he asked abruptly, which startled both his mother and the man sitting next to her.
Despite the commotion, Arnold’s mother remained composed and replied, “This is Simon. He has been taking care of me for the past few months.”
Arnold was taken aback by this revelation. “Taking care of you? This place is a complete mess. How could you live like this?” he exclaimed.
“This is how I’ve been living lately. If it weren’t for Simon, I wouldn’t even be here. He came to ask for some water and heard me crying for help. He found me lying on the floor and gave me food,” she explained.
Arnold was perplexed and asked, “What happened to all your money?”
“I had to use all my money to pay off your student loans, which only stopped coming in last year. Since then, I’ve only been able to afford basic groceries and couldn’t pay the bills,” Eva explained.
Simon abruptly broke the silence, revealing the shocking truth about Eva’s living situation. “Your mother’s utilities have been cut off, so there’s no electricity or water here. We’ve been getting water from outside. Her house will be taken away if she doesn’t pay her loans. If I had known she had a son, I would have insisted on calling you, but she never mentioned you.”
Arnold was at a loss for words. Simon continued, “To be honest, if I had known she had a son, the first thing I would’ve done was give you a good beating for leaving your mother in such a horrid state!”
Before things could escalate further, Eva stepped in. “That’s enough,” she cried. “You said you didn’t want anything to do with me, so I don’t want to disturb you further. If there’s anything you need, just get it and go.”
Arnold fell to his knees, overwhelmed with guilt and shame. “Mom,” he sobbed. “I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you’ve been living this way.”
Eva comforted him, saying, “It’s not your fault, my dear. You didn’t know. I never wanted to burden you with my problems.”
Arnold knew he had to make things right. He paid off all of his mother’s debts and had her house fixed. He also found Simon a job at the company he worked for.
Eventually, Arnold moved back to the city where his mother lived, and they were reunited. He even built a bigger house for their family, where both Eva and Simon could live comfortably.
When Arnold started his own family, he made sure to stay in touch with his mother and visit her regularly. They spent weekends together in Eva’s home, reminiscing about the past and cherishing the present.
Arnold learned a valuable lesson about the importance of family and taking care of those who took care of him. He was grateful for the opportunity to make things right and to spend time with his mother and stepfather in their golden years.