Mom Jumps out of Her Skin on Learning Someone Took Her Daughter Away from Swing — Story of the Day

After her husband’s passing, Bethany became a single mother to her daughter, Julie. Financial struggles forced them to move, and the girl was hurt to lose all her friends. But after encountering a young boy at their local park, Julie and Bethany’s lives changed forever.

Bethany dropped their luggage and took a moment to take in the air of her new humble abode with enthusiasm as she and her daughter, Julie, entered the house. Julie sighed, dragging her feet as she followed her mother into the house without enthusiasm.

“Now, I know it doesn’t look like much. And it’s definitely far from what we are used to. But, with a few touch-ups here and there, it’ll feel like home in no time,” Bethany explained, turning to Julie, who rolled her eyes in annoyance.

“I don’t care about that, mom,” Julie retorted. “I have no friends here,” Julie added in a sad whisper.

“I know, my love. But you’ll make friends soon. I promise,” Bethany assured her, gently grabbing her shoulder.

“No, I won’t,” Julie said, coldly brushing off her mother’s hand and leaving towards a nearby room. Defeated, Bethany plopped herself to the floor, holding her head in frustration.

For the first time in a long time, she didn’t have to struggle to keep her tears back. She had cried so much over the last couple of months that she had no tears left at all.

“Hi. That’s my swing,” Ethan said softly, creeping up behind Julie unannounced.
Things had been difficult between Bethany and her daughter since her husband, Bethany’s father, had passed away. He was terminally ill, and after spending almost everything they had on his treatment, he still didn’t make it.

Losing her husband and trying to comfort a daughter who had lost her father at only 5 years old was one of the hardest things Bethany ever had to do. To make matters worse, the whole ordeal reminded her of losing her father as a child.

Similarly, Bethany’s father fell ill, and his family was pulled into poverty trying to pay for his treatment. She could not, for the life of her, understand why God would allow something like this after seeing the toll it had on her and her family. However, Bethany had chosen to keep the faith and hope for the best.

As Bethany looked around her, it became harder to keep the faith. Their house was about a fifth the size of where they used to stay. Its conditions were extremely deplorable, and she couldn’t do renovations any time soon, even if she wanted to. Her finances simply wouldn’t allow it.

While things seemed bleak, Bethany again chose to stand up and make the best of the cards she was dealt. Over the next couple of weeks, she tried her best to make their new house a home. Meanwhile, Julie struggled with loneliness.

Her friends and daily routine comforted her after her father’s passing; now, she had lost it all. Making friends had never been easy for Julie, being the shy girl she was. So finding herself having to find new friends and a new normal altogether at such a tragic time seemed near impossible.

She would spend most of her days playing alone at a park near their house. The park was one of the key reasons Bethany actually chose the house. She loved that Bethany could play under her watch, even if she was busy with household chores.

One day, Julie was playing on the swings alone as usual when a young, smartly dressed boy approached her. The young boy, Ethan, was just two years older than Julie and quite the shy child himself.

“Hi. That’s my swing,” Ethan said softly, creeping up behind Julie unannounced.

“No, it’s not. It doesn’t have your name on it, does it?!” Julie responded, continuing to play.

“No. But I normally chose it,” Ethan retorted.

“Well, so do I,” Julie said.

“Okay, I guess we can share it then. Do you want me to push you?” Ethan asked.

“Okay,” Julie simply said. And so, as he promised, Ethan pushed her, and they played together, thinking no more of it. They didn’t know it then, but that simple child’s play encounter at the park began something much larger for Ethan and Julie.

Bethany had also begun to grow lonely. Being in a new, unknown community also took a toll on her. It was not easy for her to get up and leave the only life she’d known. Unfortunately, their circumstances demanded exactly that.

“Uhm…” Bethany started, clearing her throat awkwardly. “No, I believe there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding here. I’m here for the book club. My name is Bethany. I saw your advertisement online and thought I’d join,” Bethany explained.

Bethany decided to try to reignite her own social life. So, one day she went online looking for local woman’s clubs just like the ones she and her friends used to have in her old life. She came across an interesting book club and thought she’d give it a try.

The next day she rummaged through what was left of her clothes, looking for something she could wear. “C’mon, Beth! You must have something you can wear that won’t make you look like a complete loser!” Bethany muttered to herself in frustration.

She had sold most of her expensive and dear clothes to make a little to help get the house after her husband’s death. Before, Bethany’s closet was filled with chic and extravagantly stylish wear, but now it was a mere shadow of its former self.

Most of the clothes she had now were from thrift shops or stuff she got on sale. The book club meetings were held at one of the expensive local country clubs, but luckily for Bethany, the book club members had free access. Bethany finally found something she liked and left for the first meeting, nervous but ever excited.

As Bethany walked up to the table of finely dressed women at the country club, her heart began to pound profusely. What were you thinking, Bethany? You are way out of your league here. Should I just turn back and go home? she thought.

She stopped and took a moment to steel herself. “C’mon, Beth. You can do this. What are you afraid of? It’s just people. I’m sure they’ll love you,” Bethany murmured to herself. Then, finally mustering up the courage, she approached them.

“Hi, everyone! I’m Bethany, ” she said, about to sit at the table.

“Oh, no. We’re good. We’ve already been served,” said a woman drenched in the finest clothing and accessories money can buy. Bethany anxiously looked around, noticing that her outfit resembled the waiters and waitresses working at the country club.

“Uhm…” Bethany started, clearing her throat awkwardly. “No, I believe there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding here. I’m here for the book club. My name is Bethany. I saw your advertisement online and thought I’d join,” Bethany explained.

“Oh, is it?” the woman, Mrs. Jacobs, said with a scoff. “You thought you’d join?” Mrs. Jacobs said, trying to control her itching laughter.

“You’ll have to forgive me. I just thought you worked here,” Mrs. Jacobs said, gesturing to Bethany’s outfit from top to bottom. “I mean, can you blame me?” Mrs. Jacobs retorted before she and the other members all burst into laughter.

Bethany felt extremely uncomfortable, but it was too late to turn back. “No…I get it,” Bethany said, feigning a laugh as she took her seat.

The whole meeting barely had anything to do with the book they were meant to cover that week. The whole time, Bethany just sat there watching them bicker about how much money they had. Bethany was on the verge of dozing off before Mrs. Jacobs suddenly turned to her, drawing her into the conversation.

“You know, Bethy…” Mrs. Jacobs started.

“It’s Bethany,” Bethany corrected her.

“Oh. Sorry. Bethany,” Mrs. Jacobs said with a slightly mocking tone. “You know, you remind me of one of the ever so sweet maids at my recent trip to Paris. They wore something similar. Have you ever been?” Mrs. Jacobs said rather harshly.

Bethany was taken aback by her words. She had quite frankly had enough of this woman. But, trying her best to restrain her frustration, she simply answered, “Have I been?”

“To Paris. Have you been there before?” Mrs. Jacobs asked with a sly grin on her face.

Bethany suddenly felt like a complete alien, a feeling that transported her straight to her high school days, where all the popular girls were always giving her the side-eye and speaking behind her back in muffled sarcasm.

And Paris? Bethany had never been to Paris, even though she and her husband planned to make the trip one day. Unfortunately, they never got the opportunity. However, as she looked at Mrs. Jacobs with that entitled smirk, she couldn’t let her get one over her.

As Bethany faced this woman, she remembered all the bullies at school that made one of the toughest moments in her life that much more challenging. She remembered all the crude remarks from her affluent classmates who mocked her after her father’s illness.

Who, just like Mrs. Jacobs, kicked her when she was at her lowest because of financial strife. Her blood boiled within her as she contemplated a response. She knew the words about to come out of her mouth would only bring her regret, but she simply couldn’t let her get one over her.

“Yes, I have. My husband and I went there a while back for the summer,” Bethany responded.

“Oh, really?” What hotel did you stay in?” Mrs. Jacobs asked.

Bethany hesitated, unsure what to say next. “Uhm… Err… I think it was called The Samuel Hotel,” Bethany said.

“The Samuel Hotel?” Mrs. Jacobs asked.

“Yep. That’s the one,” Bethany responded nervously.

“You’re lying. There’s no such place…Bethy!” Mrs. Jacobs retorted as all the other women burst into laughter.

That was the last straw for Bethany. She could no longer entertain their “mean girl” antics. And moreover, she was simply distraught and embarrassed. This was not how her first experience of putting herself out there was supposed to go.

Bethany simply got up and walked off with her tail between her legs. She was hurt and embarrassed. She couldn’t hide it, and that was okay with her. What she was not prepared to do was stay there any second longer and let people who knew nothing of her judge her as if they did. Bethany walked off, the sound of the women’s mocking sniggers fading behind her.

A couple days later, Ethan and Julie were playing together in the park as they had now become accustomed to. Ethan handed Julie his teddy bear when, suddenly, Mrs. Jacobs approached the two. Bethany was busy in the kitchen, where she could observe her daughter playing nearby.

“You’ll make other friends, Julie! I don’t want you playing with that boy, you hear me?!” Bethany barked. Julie began to cry, tightly gripping the teddy bear in her arms. After that day, Julie carried the teddy bear with her everywhere. She named the toy “Bruno.”

Bethany had grown fond of Ethan. While she didn’t know him well, she was just grateful her little girl had finally found someone she could play with.

“Ethan!” Mrs. Jacobs called to the little boy.

Bethany’s blood immediately began to boil at the sight of Mrs. Jacobs. To make matters worse, she was approaching her daughter. She stormed out of the house and rushed to the park.

“Don’t you dare go near my child!” Bethany yelled, rushing to grab Julie. Both Julie and Ethan were utterly confused.

“Your child? That’s my son your little charity case is playing with,” Mrs. Jacobs barked.

“You say another word about my daughter, and it’ll be the last thing you say,” Bethany furiously responded, grabbing Julie by the arm and storming off. Mrs. Jacobs grabbed Ethan by the hand and pulled him away as well. As they were dragged away, the two children shared a longing and sorrowful gaze.

“He is my only friend, Mom!” Julie snapped, almost in tears, as she and her mom entered the house.

“You’ll make other friends, Julie! I don’t want you playing with that boy, you hear me?!” Bethany barked. Julie began to cry, tightly gripping the teddy bear in her arms. After that day, Julie carried the teddy bear with her everywhere. She named the toy “Bruno.”

Bethany continued to take her daughter to the park. It was one of the only ways she could ensure she did everything she needed to at the house while simultaneously keeping her daughter busy.

Bethany was busy preparing supper as Julie played in the park. She would occasionally check on her daughter to make sure she was okay. But, as she looked up while cooking, Julie was nowhere to be seen.

“Julie!” Bethany yelled, rushing towards the park. “Julie!” Bethany yelled, looking around the park for her daughter.

Bethany searched throughout the park, but Julie was nowhere to be seen. She finally came across the teddy bear Julie always carried near the swings. Next to it was a note which read:

“She’s with me in a dog burrow near the old oak tree.”

Bethany spiraled into a deep panic, thinking the worst may have happened to her child. She frantically ran to the nearby neighbors’ houses, knocking at each door and ringing each doorbell, asking about a “dog burrow.” Nobody knew what she was talking about.

“A dog burrow,” one neighbor exclaimed in confusion. Bethany didn’t know what else to say. Luckily, upon coming across her neighbor, Mrs. Stein, she finally found a glimmer of hope.

“Okay, okay. Please calm down, Bethany. Can you give any other details?” Mrs. Stein asked, deep in thought.

“Near the old oak tree,” Bethany explained, shaking in panic.

“Oh, the old oak tree. You should have started with that! It’s old Thomas’ abandoned house. I can take you there,” Mrs. Stein concluded.

As Bethany and Mrs. Stein approached the shabby abandoned house near the old oak tree, Bethany gasped, nearly fainting at the sight before her. As they approached the house, they saw blood droplets leading to the house’s door.

“Oh, no! God, Please! Not my baby!” Bethany said in tears.

“Calm down, Bethany. I’m sure she’s alright,” Mrs. Stein insisted.

Bethany gathered all the strength she had left in her as they continued towards the door. As they entered the house, she heard her daughter crying and gasped with relief. She’s alive! My baby’s alive! Bethany thought to herself.

They couldn’t locate where the cry came from as they crept through the dilapidated building. Her heart pounded intensely in dreaded suspense as the old wooden floors creaked with their every step.

Finally, Bethany noticed a little door on the floor that led to an underground basement. She realized that Julie’s weeping was coming from there.

Bethany trembled as they went down the stairs toward the basement. Fearful for what they might find on the other side of the door, Mrs. Stein said she would wait for Bethany at the basement entrance.

At this point, they could barely see the way forward. Bethany switched on the flashlight on the phone and cautiously opened the door. As she opened the door, she saw her daughter in tears kneeling before someone.

As Bethany approached, she noticed Julie kneeling in front of Ethan. Ethan was also crying, holding his ankle in pain with one hand, as his other hand rested on a bleeding dog with puppies.

“Julie!” Bethany called, rushing to hug her daughter.

“Mommy?” Julie said, hugging her mother.

“I was worried sick about you. What’s happening here?” Bethany asked.

“It’s Bruno,” Julie cried.

“Bruno? Your teddy bear?” Bethany asked, confused.

“No, the dog. We named him after the teddy bear Ethan gave me,” Julie said, pointing at the bleeding dog. “He got hit by a car,” Julie explained.

The children explained everything that had happened. She learned that Julie and Ethan secretly took care of the stray puppies and their mom daily. But that day, Ethan found out that the dog’s mom had been hit by a car.

He went home, took water and bandages, and met Julie on the playground. He and Julie ran to old Thomas’ house to help Bruno, the dog, but Ethan twisted his ankle as they made their way to the basement.

Bethany was touched to hear this moving story. Even more so, she was taken aback at the deep friendship Julie and Ethan shared. She had thought the worst. And while she was right to worry about her child’s safety, she had never imagined her baby girl had finally made such a deep bond with another child.

Mrs. Stein and Bethany quickly attended to the boy and the dog, Bruno. Mrs. Stein was a nurse, so she was able to help them. They both then took the children out of the house. Bruno and her puppies whimpered behind them as they exited the house. Ethan and Julie turned to the dogs as they were leaving.

“Mommy, we can’t leave them behind,” Julie said, pointing to Bruno and her puppies.

The look in her daughter’s eyes stole Bethany’s heart. As much as she didn’t want to, she simply felt she had no choice. “I’ll come back for them. I promise,” Bethany promised her daughter. Bethany grabbed both children by the hand and walked them back to her house.

When Bethany and the kids returned home, she saw firefighters around their house. Their humble abode was engulfed by smoke.

“Oh no! I forgot to switch off the stove!” Bethany realized, rushing towards the house with the kids. As Bethany approached the house, she noticed Mrs. Jacobs speaking to one of the firefighters. Their eyes instantly met before Mrs. Jacobs noticed Bethany holding her son’s hand and the blood on his shirt.

“Ethan! Are you okay?” Mrs. Jacobs cried, rushing over to them.

As it turns out, Mrs. Jacobs returned to the park looking for Ethan when she noticed smoke coming from Bethany’s house. She instantly called the firefighters, saving Bethany’s house from burning to the ground.

Likewise, Mrs. Jacobs learned everything Ethan and Julie had been through with Bruno and her pups. Mrs. Jacobs couldn’t believe what Bethany had done for her son after everything that had transpired between them. Bethany was equally as shocked to learn Mrs. Jacobs had saved her house from burning.

“Thank you for helping my son and bringing him to your home. Especially considering everything,” Mrs. Jacobs said, lowering her head in shame.

“No, thank you. If it weren’t for you, Julie and I wouldn’t have a home to return to,” Bethany said. Mrs. Jacobs and Bethany hugged each other, both almost in tears. Julie and Ethan looked on with warm smiles.

Mrs. Jacobs and Bethany returned to the abandoned house and got the puppies and Bruno. They were set on immediately taking the dogs to the dog shelter, but the children begged them not to.

“Please, Mom,” Ethan begged Mrs. Jacobs with puppy dog eyes.

“Yeah! Please, Mommy! If it weren’t for these little guys, I wouldn’t have finally found a friend,” Julie said, also putting on her puppy dog eyes.

“Yeah. And you guys wouldn’t be working together,” Ethan added.

Bethany and Mrs. Jacobs couldn’t deny the truth in their children’s words. They decided to keep Bruno with Bethany and divide the rest of the puppies between the children.

Bethany wanted to thank her neighbor Mrs. Jacobs for saving her home from the fire, so she invited her and her son Ethan for tea and pie.

Ethan was over the moon when he learned they would visit Julie and her mom. They were even happier to realize how much Bethany and Mrs. Jacobs had in common, especially as single mothers.

Bethany and Mrs. Jacobs noticed and appreciated how their kids were happy playing together and didn’t want to ruin their friendship. Mrs. Jacobs explained how Ethan had no friends at school. It turned out that the two meeting was perfect timing.

So, both families visited each other from time to time. Mrs. Jacobs even reinvited Bethany to the book club. And in the end, both Bethany and Julie gained friends. About 15 years later, Julie and Ethan came to Bethany and asked for her blessing for marriage.

When Bethany asked if Mrs. Jacobs wasn’t against their marriage, she was shocked to learn that Mrs. Jacobs had given Ethan her mothers’ old diamond ring to Ethan for him to propose to Julie. They had a wedding near the old oak tree that symbolized their everlasting friendship and love for each other.

What can we learn from this story?

All is not as it seems, and sometimes the very person you are fighting is not your enemy. Bethany had thought that Mrs. Jacobs was her enemy, not knowing that they shared a lot in common and that their fates were deeply intertwined.
Do not be too overbearing over your children. They could teach you a thing or two. Bethany and Mrs. Jacobs both learned a lot from their children’s friendship. They even managed to find friends in each other.

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

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