An old janitor decided to sell things from his house to pay for his maintenance medicine, only to find a $12,000 check in the pocket of a jacket he received as a gift one day.
Steven Green was a hardworking man who worked all his life to provide for his family. He never finished college, so he often took hard labor jobs around the neighborhood to make up for his lack of a degree.
He worked as a carpenter, an electrician, an auto mechanic, and a builder through the years. However, as he grew older, he could no longer do these jobs. His knees grew weak, and his arthritis made it difficult for him to work.
Steven’s kids no longer lived in the same state as him and his wife, Melinda, and instead would send them a small allowance for their monthly expenses. Unfortunately, Steven experienced constant physical pain after working hard labor jobs for years, and he needed maintenance medication.
His children’s allowance was only enough for food, and his savings were being depleted by the loan they were paying off for their home. Realizing that he needed more money, Steven decided to get a job again.
He approached the city hall, asking if he could apply as a janitor. He was instantly offered the job, which only paid minimum wage.
At first, his salary was enough to pay the bills and the medicine he needed. However, due to his advanced age as well as his wife’s, they started to need more maintenance medicine, and it cost a whole lot.
To pay for the mounting bills, Steven began to take things from his home to a thrift store to earn extra money. One day, as he was carrying an old radio to the thrift store, his neighbor Ben spotted him.
“Mr. Green, it’s so good to see you! How have you been?” Ben asked.
“I’m doing great, son. We’re just selling a couple of things we no longer use at home for some extra cash. Maintenance medicines are a pain in the butt when you’re a senior citizen, so take care of yourself, alright?” he said almost jokingly.
Ben smiled and nodded. “Thanks for the tip, Mr. Green!” he said before waving goodbye.
That same day, Steven was cooking dinner with Melinda when they heard the doorbell ring. They weren’t expecting anyone, so Steven curiously walked towards the door.
To his surprise, he saw Ben with a coat in his arms. “What are you doing here, son?” Steven asked.
“Sorry for disturbing you, Mr. Green. It’s just that earlier today, I noticed you weren’t wearing a jacket out. It’s getting cold with winter coming, so I wanted to give you this jacket as a gift,” he said, handing Steven the coat.
Steven was surprised by Ben’s kind gesture, and he was touched. He hadn’t received a gift in a while, especially from a stranger. “Wow, this is a nice-looking jacket. Thank you, Ben. This is so nice of you.”
Steven called Melinda to the door and showed her the jacket that Ben had given him. They were both delighted and decided to invite Ben to have dinner with them that night. They spent the night exchanging stories and getting to know one another as more than just next-door neighbors.
The following day, Ben decided to wear the jacket to work. While walking towards the city hall, he felt the weather getting colder, so he put his hands inside the jacket pockets. When he did, he realized there was something inside. To his surprise, it was a check for $12,000!
He took a turn and decided to go to Ben’s house to return the check. “I believe this is yours, Ben. You left it in your jacket pocket,” Steven said, handing Ben the check.
But Ben shook his head and smiled. “No, Mr. Green. This check is yours. Remember that time you found my mom on the sidewalk, fighting for her life? You were the one who called for an ambulance and even accompanied her to the hospital while I was at work,” he recalled.
“I couldn’t believe I wasn’t there for my mom during her last moments before she passed away, and I’m just so grateful that you were there with her. She left me an inheritance, but I always thought I didn’t deserve it. I want you to have it, so you and Mrs. Green no longer have to worry about the bills you have to pay or the medicine you have to buy,” Ben told Steven.
Steven had tears in his eyes. He never realized how much impact his gesture had on Ben, as they weren’t exactly close neighbors.
“You could need this money too, son. Really, please take it,” Steven insisted, trying to hand the check back to Ben. However, Ben continued to refuse.
“Don’t worry about me, Mr. Green. I have years to save up and work hard for my family’s future. I’d like you to have the money so that you do not need to spend the rest of your life working. Enjoy life with Mrs. Green; you both deserve it,” Ben said, pulling Steven into a hug.
What can we learn from this story?
What goes around comes around. Steven never realized his good deed’s impact on Ben when he accompanied Ben’s ailing mother to the hospital. Years later, Ben decided to repay him for his kindness in a way that he never expected.
Kind and noble work will always be rewarded. Steven worked hard his entire life knowing he needed to do so to pay the bills. In the end, somebody stepped in to help him so he could enjoy the rest of his life without worrying about the bills he needed to pay.
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