A poor single mother who raised her son while putting her own life on the back burner is moved to tears when her 16-year-old boy buys her a car. Then she feels a strange fear grip her heart as she wonders where he got the money.
Peter lived with his mother, Jenna, in a cozy home in a modest neighborhood. Jenna had been married years ago, and legally, she still was because her husband never bothered to divorce her.
The only good thing that had come out of their separation was that her husband didn’t want Peter’s custody, so she was saved from the ugly custody battle and the expenses the divorce would’ve caused.
But that also meant Jenna was not getting any alimony or child support, so she would need to make a living. That’s where the problems began because she had been a homemaker all her life…
Jenna was only 19 when she got pregnant with Peter. At the time, life seemed like a bed of roses, and Peter’s father said he would look after her and their child, so she dropped out of college without a worry.
Then Jenna married Ronald, and everything was fine until one day, he returned home at 4 in the morning, and Jenna found him on their living room couch.
“Ronald! Jesus! You scared me!” she cried as she went downstairs to get some water and saw him sitting alone in the living room.
As she approached him, she could see he looked upset and devastated.
“What’s wrong, Ronald?” she asked. “Did you come home just now?”
“I’m sorry, Jenna…” he said, then she noticed he was crying. “Look, I hate myself for this… I hate that I’m doing this, but… it’s over. We are over.”
“Ronald!” she gasped. “Are you drunk? Tell me you are!”
“Three months,” he said. “It’s been three months since I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m a family man and I shouldn’t be with another woman. But I love Mira, my secretary. I can’t continue this any longer, Jenna… I don’t want to keep you in the dark. You can have the house and Peter. That’s all I can give you…I can’t pay the alimony. Sorry. Please take care.”
And then Ronald was gone with his suitcase and Jenna was left alone with Peter. She never received the divorce papers from Ronald or the explanation of why he cheated on her. Was he always unhappy with her? Did he ever love her?
“He loved me. He was my hero! Mom, is Dad never coming back?” Peter asked her the next day while having breakfast.
Parents always want the best for their children.
“Never,” Jenna said. “And let’s not hope for anything even if he returns, Peter. Your mother is alive, and she can raise you. In fact, she needs to raise you well so your father knows what he did was wrong.”
It took Jenna a while to pull herself together after Ronald walked out on her and Peter, but she knew she couldn’t give up. She began looking for jobs, and the first one she found required her to deliver mail around the city. A mailwoman. That was Jenna’s first job.
Soon, the woman was driving her truck around the city, delivering mail and making an income. But money was still short; Jenna knew that. So six months later, she took up another job at a delivery company.
While working two jobs, Jenna could only sleep for three to four hours, and though her body ached for rest, she kept working like a machine for her son’s sake.
On Peter’s 15th birthday, Jenna gifted the lad a new computer, and he was so happy that he hugged her.
“You’re the best mom, Mom!” he cried happily. “But how did you know I wanted one?”
“Moms know everything,” Jenna said with a wink. “So, did you like it?”
“I loved it, Mom! Thank you so much! But hey, Mom… I know how hard you’re working. We could have saved this money. Or… we could’ve gotten you a new car!”
“Oh, don’t be silly, honey!” she said. “I don’t need a car! Besides, we can always save money later. I know you really wanted this. Happy birthday, son.”
Jenna knew her son respected her hard work and hence, never demanded anything from her. But as a mother, she felt awful that Peter had to cut on his demands and grow up too soon to understand how the world worked, all because his father had left them.
“I really love you, Mom!” he told her that day. “You’re the best mother in the world!”
A few days later, Peter noticed Jenna returned early from work and went straight to her room. She never did that. She always asked him about his day, and only then would she go to her room.
When Peter peeked into Jenna’s room, he couldn’t believe what he saw. Jenna sat on the bed and removed her socks…And he saw her sole was covered with reddened calluses.
“Jesus… it’s getting worse with all the walking,” she sighed. “Where did I put that foot cream again?”
“Mom!” Peter cried from the door. “We need to take you to a doc!”
“Oh, it’s nothing, hun!” She brushed it off, looking for the cream in her bedside drawer. “I get these all the time. Looks like I’ll have to ask a friend to drop me off at work tomorrow. I can barely walk.”
Peter insisted they should go to a doctor, but Jenna said she was OK.
The next day, Jenna went to work in a friend’s car, and Peter felt awful after learning from her friend that Jenna had knee problems too. “I told her to take a loan and get a car, but she doesn’t listen!” the friend told Peter. “Anyways, I’ll pick her up every day until her foot gets better.”
A year passed. Jenna, 35, and Peter, 16, were about to have breakfast one morning when Jenna noticed a car parked in their driveway. It seemed like the car that had just come out of a carwash, and it wasn’t one of those expensive models.
What is a car doing there? she wondered. And who would park it there?
“Hey, Mom, can you come out for a sec?” Peter called out to her as he rushed downstairs for breakfast.
“Yes, I wanted to ask… Do you have any idea whose car that is? In our driveway?” she asked him near the stairs.
Peter smiled. “We’ll find that out, Mom. Come with me,” he said as he walked out the front door, Jenna behind him.
Peter walked up to the car and took out a set of keys from his pocket. “This is for you, Mom. For all those sacrifices you made for me and all the hard work you put in every day to make our lives better.”
“No way!” cried Jenna. “That can’t be…Oh, did you buy me a car?”
For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels
Tears rolled down Jenna’s cheeks, and Peter had to hug her to comfort her. “You deserved it, Mom,” he said. “Let’s go for a drive?”
“Oh, Peter!” said Jenna sadly, a strange fear gripping her heart. “But where… where did you get the money? You can’t take out a loan… You’re just 16. How did you get the car?”
“Mom, how does that matter?” asked Peter, which made her worry more. She thought her son had gotten into the wrong things like other teenagers. Or was he making illegal money online?
“It matters!” she said. “You need to tell me where you got the money!”
“Okay, relax…” Peter replied as he began narrating how he had worked part-time jobs during the summer break and tutored kids online after school every day, besides doing odd jobs for the neighbors and making some income through that.
“It took me a whole year, Mom!” he explained. “It was really hard work, and it’s a second-hand car, so I got it for cheaper. You won’t need to walk everywhere, Mom, and hurt your feet.”
Jenna couldn’t keep her tears at bay at this point. “It’s the best,” she said, hugging Peter. “The best car I could’ve got.”
What can we learn from this story?
As children, we should respect our parents’ efforts and do our best for them. Peter appreciated Jenna’s hard work and gifted her a car to make her life easier.
Parents always want the best for their children. Jenna was a parent in the real sense, and she did her best for Peter. Ronald, on the other hand, failed as a parent.
SOURCE : AMOMAMA