Millionaire Learns His Mother Has No Clothes, No Food, and Lives Under a Bridge — Story of the Day

Ben was a successful businessman who came from a troubled upbringing. His mother neglected him in his early years, but he still managed to make something of himself later in life. Years later, his mother would pay him a visit at work and force him to confront his past.

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Ben sat in his palatial office, going about his day as usual. However, it wasn’t just any other day. The financial statements for his company’s previous year had just come in, and things were looking up.

Ben stared at his computer screen in complete disbelief. All his years were finally paying off remarkably. His company’s revenue had grown by several tens of millions of dollars.

Ben was so overjoyed he felt it necessary to celebrate. Just as he picked up his phone to call his assistant, Jane, she suddenly stormed in with a morbid look.

“Ah, Jane. I was just about to call you. The numbers are looking great. I think we are due for a bit of a celebration. Please bring a few bottles of good champagne and get everyone to the canteen for a quick, well-deserved toast,” Ben said with excitement.

“Uhm… Will do, sir. But…” an anxious Jane started, trying to gather her words.

“But?” Ben asked with a side-eye.

“Uhm… Sir, your mother… She—She was seen under a bridge not too far from our offices,” Jane explained hesitantly.

“What?” Ben gasped.

“One of our security guards recognized her from a few days back. She was in a pretty bad state, sir. I think she’s been living there for a while now,” Jane explained.

Ben said nothing for a moment, trying to steel himself. Then finally, he replied, “Thanks, Jane. I think I’ll take a raincheck on that champagne. But please ensure everyone gets a bottle and a gift bag to go home with as a token of our appreciation. Get yourself something nice too. You deserve it.”

“Thank you, sir,” Jane said before exiting.

The moment Jane closed the door behind her, Ben slowly reclined in his seat with a heavy sigh and welling eyes. Memories from his past started to flood his thoughts, taking him back to the beginning.

Ben was raised by his single mother, Ellen, after his father divorced her and moved to another state. He was the youngest of Ellen’s two sons and always felt like his mother prioritized his older brother, Simon, more than him.

Ben was never bought toys or clothes of his own and would always wear Simon’s hand-me-downs. He became jealous of his mother’s affection for his brother.

One day, Ben figured he would try his luck and ask his mother for an outfit he had seen. He was in his senior year of high school and was trying to discover his own identity, so he had hoped to finally start getting his own clothes that spoke to his taste. So, he gave it a shot.

“Mom, do you think I could get this outfit? It’s on sale, so it shouldn’t be that expensive,” an excited Ben told his mother as he flashed the pamphlet from the clothing store in front of Ellen, who was on her phone. Ellen did not give it a single glance, rather eying her son with an acute glance of disapproval.

“Get that out of my face,” Ellen said coldly, sending Ben’s heart sinking.

“Do you think money falls off trees? Go and earn some money for new clothes!” Ellen concluded before nonchalantly returning to her phone.

Ben was disappointed and took her words to heart. However, his mother’s words made him realize that he could purchase the clothes independently. Ben never shied away from hard work, so that very day he started looking for a job.

A few days later, he got a job. He was over the moon and couldn’t wait to tell his mother. After school, he returned home eager to share the good news.

As he entered their small apartment, Ben was instantly met by a wave of thick smoke. “Mom!” Ben screamed, running to the kitchen where the smoke emanated. He found a burning pot with roaring flames only inches from the kitchen curtains.

He immediately moved the burning pot off the stove and damped the fire with water. “Mom!” he continued to scream as he rushed towards her bedroom. Ellen crept out of the room in confusion as she wiped the crust from her eyes.

As she closed the door behind her, Ben noticed a man’s shoes near her bed. Little did he know then that this would be one of the first of many men to enter into their lives unannounced.

“What’s with all the yelling?” Ellen asked before noticing the smoke. “And then? Are you trying to burn my house down?” Ellen asked, infuriated.

“I came home and found a pot burning. If I’d come any later, the fire would have burnt the house down,” Ben explained, still coughing from the fumes.

“Oh. I—I must’ve forgotten to switch the stove off. Help me open the windows and get this smoke out,” Ellen said. As they went around the apartment, opening the windows, Ben was looking for his window of opportunity to tell her the good news. The situation didn’t seem ideal, but he figured now was as good a time as any.

“So, mom, I took your advice, and I got a job as a lifeguard,” Ben explained as they were in the kitchen trying to air out the smoke.

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“Oh. And how much will this job pay?” Ellen asked with a scoff.

“Uhm… Not much. But it’s a start,” a disheartened Ben responded. His mother’s reaction reeled at his heart. He had expected her to be more concerned about his safety or express some pride in his tenacity, but all she cared about was the money.

“Money, Ben. We need money,” Ellen casually said before heading back to the bedroom. “And I need you to cook supper tonight. I’m not feeling very well,” Ellen yelled before her door slammed shut over the murmurs of the man in the bedroom.

Ben was heartbroken and frustrated at his mother’s lack of regard for him or his efforts. But, he simply told himself all would be well. He chose to focus on the new opportunity before him and looked forward to his first week at his new job.

Things were looking up for Ben at work. His first few weeks of work went well. His clients adored him, and he got along well with the other employees and supervisors.

Ben’s job had mostly involved him keeping watch over the swimmers and helping with setting up and clearing up at the sports club. However, one day, his lifeguarding skills were finally put to the test.

Ben had come back from getting lunch. He was off duty for the rest of the day, but he decided to hang around at the club. As he approached the pool area, out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone drowning in the pool.

He looked to the lifeguard tower, but there was nobody there. He instantly dived in and dragged the person to the poolside. She was a young girl around the same age as Ben. Her eyes shot open as he was about to perform CPR, and she coughed out a little water.

“Oh, thank God! I feared for the worst,” Ben said with a deep sigh.

“You saved my life,” the young girl said, trembling.

“It’s nothing. I was just doing my job. I’m supposed to be off duty, but it looks like my replacement was late for his shift,” Ben said, wrapping the young girl with a towel.

“It’s not nothing. If you hadn’t arrived when you had… Who knows what…” the girl started, unable to complete her sentence, still in panic.

“I almost drowned, dad. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
“Well, I’m glad I came when I did,” Ben said warmly. It was only at that moment that he realized how beautiful the girl was. He tried to keep his cool and professionalism as he walked her to the reception, but he couldn’t help but stare. As they approached the reception, a voice cried, “Angie!”

The pair turned back to a middle-aged man in a fancy suit approaching them. Upon seeing him, the young girl ran into his arms and embraced him as she began to weep.

“What’s wrong, my love?” the man asked, holding her tight.

“I almost drowned, dad. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here right now,” Angie said, pointing to a nervous Ben.

Ben later learned that the man was the young girl’s father. His name was Brian, and he was a big-shot businessman. He sincerely expressed his gratitude to Ben for saving his daughter, Angie, and even gave him a large sum of money.

Ben was pleased with himself and saw yet another chance to prove himself to his mother and gain her affection. Later that day, Ben told his mother about everything that had transpired at work.

However, his mother was less interested in the fact that Ben had saved a life and more intrigued about the money he had received. Ellen had recently started investing a lot of money and time into finding a new boyfriend.

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“Look, Ben. You’re 18 now, and this living situation is no longer working. Your brother has moved out, and I know he is a lot older than you, but I need you to do this for me. You understand?”
She would spend much of her money on her appearance and going on regular dates, even to the detriment of her household. She eventually took all the money Ben had earned, simply stating:

“It’s time you pay your own way, Ben.”

Ben was heartbroken by his mother’s response, but he held his peace. A year later, his mother finally remarried. Unfortunately for Ben, this relationship became problematic. Ellen’s husband wanted Ben out of the house, and he finally persuaded her to kick him out.

“Look, Ben. You’re 18 now, and this living situation is no longer working. Your brother has moved out, and I know he is a lot older than you, but I need you to do this for me. You understand?” Ellen asked.

Ben simply nodded, then packed his bags and left. He was very hurt because even with their differences, Ben loved his mother. But after that day, he began to resent her for abandoning him. He vowed never to return there again.

Ben was no longer working as a lifeguard, so he needed to find a way to make a living and look after himself. He was still in contact with Brian, so he reached out to him, and luckily, Brian was able to offer him a job in his company.

From then on, Ben started working for Brian and even became close friends with his daughter, Angie. Angie and Ben soon fell in love and eventually got married.

With Ben now being his son-in-law, Brian taught Ben everything he knew and eventually handed the company over to him. Ben had done well for himself, and his poor background and family tension became a thing of the past. That is until his mother showed up at his office all those years later.

Ben could hardly recognize the woman before him as Jane ushered her to Ben’s office. Ellen was now sixty years old, but it seemed like stress and strife over the years had added twenty years. As she entered his spacious office, decored by awards and photos of Ben with famous figures, she looked around in awe, finally impressed by her son’s accomplishments.

“Hi, son,” Ellen said, sitting opposite him at his fancy work desk.

“Hi, mom. What can I do for you?” Ben responded coldly.

“That’s fair,” Ellen said with a sigh. “Ben, I want to apologize,” Ellen began, but Ben wasn’t having any of it.

“Listen, I’m in a bit of a hurry right now. This is not a good time,” Ben said abruptly, getting up and heading for the door.

“The security will show you the way out,” Ben concluded as he exited the office, leaving a heartbroken Ellen. The security guards felt sorry for Ellen and helped her out gently.

Ben headed straight to the bathroom and instantly burst into tears once he knew nobody was around. The whole moment was a little too surreal for him, and he hadn’t realized just how angry he was with her for everything.

Over the years, he had managed to shove those feelings so deep into the depths of his heart and mind. If he had stayed in the room with her any longer, he may have said things he could never take back. “It’s better this way. No good can come from bringing up old wounds,” he thought.

And now, a couple of days later, here he was, learning that his mother was now homeless and lived under a bridge. A part of him still wanted to leave it all in the past, forget about her, and move on. But he knew he would never be able to live with himself, let alone sleep at night.

Ben went to the bridge, and the sight of his mother there, helpless and a shadow of her former self, utterly destroyed him. She sat there in rags, begging for pennies from everyone that would give her the time of day. She looked worn out, grey, and pale. Ben could hardly recognize her in the conditions he now saw her in.

He was mad at her for everything that had happened in the past, but she was still his mother, and this was the last thing he wanted for her. Ben finally found the courage to speak to his mother and approached her.

“Oh, my son,” Ellen said with a cough, her eyes welling up. She looked even worse than she did a couple of days back.

“What happened, mom?” Ben asked, gently covering her with his suit jacket.

His mother tearfully explained her situation and how much things had changed. He learned that his older brother had become seriously ill. The insurance couldn’t cover his treatment, so his mother had to sell her apartment to try to help with his treatment.

“Err… You’re going to be a grandmother.”
She eventually mustered out the courage to ask Ben for help. But, after being rejected by Ben, she was left with no choice but to live on the streets. Ben began tearing up as his mother continued to explain her story.

“I know I’m going through this ordeal because of my selfishness in the past. I’m here today because of how I treated you, Ben. But I’ve had some time to reflect over the years, and I’ve come to see my faults. I do not ask for anything for myself. I just want my children to be healthy. Both you and your brother,” Ellen said, bursting into tears on Ben’s shoulder.

Ben was faced with a difficult decision. He had so many unresolved feelings towards his mother, but seeing her like this didn’t sit well with him. After a moment of hesitation, he hugged his mother, trying to comfort her.

As he embraced her, a piece of paper fell out of the suit jacket he had given her. Ben picked it up and realized it was a note from his wife. As he read it, his face turned pale.

“Is everything okay?” Ellen asked.

“Uhm… Yeah, it’s a note from my wife. She must have snuck it into my pocket this morning,” Ben explained.

“Is something wrong? You look like you’ve either seen a ghost or won the lotto. I’m not sure which,” Ellen said, growing concerned.

“Err… You’re going to be a grandmother,” Ben casually said.

“What?! That’s amazing!!” Ellen said with a yelp as they embraced each other again, both in tears.

Ben later checked his mother into a hotel and supplied all her needs. He got his brother one of the best doctors around to help with his treatment, and they even rekindled their relationship, which had gone cold over the years.

And while Ben and his mother were now in contact and trying to repair their relationship, he took care to take it one day at a time. He made it clear to her that he would need time to forgive her. He also vowed to himself to try to be a better parent.

What can we learn from this story?

Show mercy. Ben was hurt dearly by someone who should have been protecting him. When the tables eventually turned, and he had a chance to return that same hurt, he decided to show mercy on her and end the cycle. While it wasn’t easy and took some time, he finally overcame it.
Learn to forgive. While forgiving is sometimes easier said than done, it is necessary to move forward. Ben struggled to forgive his mother, but he eventually took a step towards healing by trying to forgive her. While he understood it may take time and wouldn’t be easy, he provided an environment where it could be possible.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

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