A lonely elderly widow comes to the rescue of a desperate single dad with a crying newborn. Later she is stunned when she opens her front door and sees the changes in her home.
Margaret was trying to pick herself a nice canteloupe when she heard the baby cry. It was the loud, indignant scream of a very young baby and it was very close.
She turned and behind her was a young man with a baby in a chest sling, pushing a shopping cart full of groceries. The man caught Margaret’s eye and blushed. “Sorry,” he said. “He’s hungry.”
“Nope,” Margaret said grinning. “That’s a Number 2 for sure!”
“No!” the dad said. “I changed his diaper ten minutes ago!”
Margaret laughed. “That’s the wonder of babies!” she smiled. “They’re the gift that keeps on giving! Don’t you live next door to me? You just moved in, right?”
We are all here to help each other.
The man nodded and looked helplessly down at the squalling baby and at the shopping cart. “Yes, I’ll take him home,” he sighed. “Another diaper change might kill me!”
He looked so downcast and so exhausted that Margeret heard herself saying. “I’ll do it!”
The man looked astounded and relieved, almost as if he’d just won the lottery. “You will?” he gasped. “Are you sure?”
Margaret grinned. “I have four kids and seven grandchildren. I’m sure!”
Margaret went home with the man. He led her to a pretty nursery where she quickly changed his diaper. As soon as he felt clean and dry, the baby stopped crying. He looked up at Margaret with huge chocolate-brown eyes and sucked his fists.
“Aren’t YOU a beauty,” Margeret crooned and cuddled him. She loved that delicious baby smell. “Oh, I miss this!” she whispered.
Margaret reluctantly handed the baby over to the waiting father. “You and your wife are very lucky,” she said. “He’s the most adorable baby!”
The man looked away quickly, and Margaret saw him blink away tears. “My wife…passed away when Nina was born,” he said. “A heart attack…”
“I’m so sorry,” Margaret said and placed a gentle hand on the man’s arm. “It’s not easy. I know, my husband passed away a year ago, and it’s still hard to face the day.”
The man nodded. “I’m Ben, by the way,” he said. He patted the baby’s bottom. “And this is Joe. How about I make you a cup of coffee?” Margaret and Ben sat in the kitchen and had some cappuccino while Joe napped.
“So,” Ben said. “I’m an architect, but since Valerie died I’ve been on leave. I have a huge project, but now it’s suspended… I don’t want to leave Joe with someone I don’t trust. He’s all I’ve got.”
Margaret said, “You could leave him with me a few mornings, see how it goes. It would do me good to have a baby in the house!”
Ben’s face lit up. “That would be GREAT!” he gasped. “I’d pay you of course!”
“Please,” Margeret said. “It will be a pleasure!”
From then on, Ben would drop Joe off at Margaret’s house. The mornings quickly became all day, every day. “Margaret,” Ben said firmly. “You must let me pay you.”
He looked around Margaret’s neat little house. The walls needed painting, and in spots the wooden floorboards were loose. “You can use the money, I know that!”
“Ben,” Margaret said. “My children and grandchildren are far away. When you bring me Joe every day, you make me feel as if I have a family. Please don’t take that away from me.”
Ben kissed Margaret’s cheek. “Ok, Margaret,” he said. “I understand. But Ben immediately started hatching a cunning plan.
When Joe was nearly a year old, Ben announced that he was taking a holiday. “Here,” he said, handing Margaret an envelope. “You’re going on holiday too!”
“I am?” gasped Margaret. She opened the envelope and found the vouchers for a plane ticket and a seven-day getaway at a luxury spa in Napa Valley. “I can’t accept this!”
“Yep, you can!” grinned Ben. “Thanks to you, I just landed a multi-million dollar project, so off you go and get spoiled.”
Margaret discovered that she loved being spoiled. She had a wonderful time at the spa and even made some new friends, but she was looking forward to going home and seeing Joe and Ben again.
The taxi dropped her off at home, and Margaret slid the house keys into the lock. The door swung open. Margaret looked down at her key. “I… This isn’t my house!” she exclaimed.
Then a happy voice yelled: “SURPRISE!”
Ben was standing in the sitting room with Joe in his arms and a huge grin on his face. Margaret looked around the room, astounded. The walls were painted the softest ivory, and the ceiling was a pale peach.
The floorboards were glowing honey-colored wood. Her old couches were covered in a pale peach velvet and strewn with ivory cushions. A lovely vintage chandelier hung from her ceiling.
“What have you done to my sitting room?” she asked.
“I brought in my team and my decorator,” Ben explained. “Wait until you see the kitchen. It’s my favorite.”
“YAH!” screamed Joe and reached out his arms for Margaret. “But… but… WHY?” asked Margaret.
“Because,” Ben said gently. “You deserve it. You are lovely, warm, generous, and gracious. This is a thank you from Joe and me, and I hope you will be in our lives forever!”
What can we learn from this story?
We are all here to help each other. Reach out if you see someone struggling, because the next person in need may be you.
A family is built on love and caring. Ben and Joe had no family, and Margaret’s children were far away, but they ended up comforting and supporting each other.