An older woman forced to work as a cleaner long after retirement age is stunned to find a huge sum of money in her bank account.
What is more terrifying than getting old alone and penniless? Lucy Martin was sixty-seven years old and had worked hard all her life as a mid-level administrative in a big Mid-West company.
However, shortly before her retirement, Lucy and her colleagues discovered that the money in the company’s retirement fund was gone. The specter of a miserable old age loomed, the dream of a comfortable retirement evaporated.
Lucy was forced into retirement by the company’s dissolution days before her sixty-fifth birthday. She had to take a job, any job, and at her age, all she found was employment as a cleaner at the local college.
Lucy worked as a cleaner at a college. | Source: Unsplash
Fortunately, Lucy wasn’t the kind of woman to weep over spilled milk or whine about the unfairness of life, so she buckled up. She took great pride in doing her job and doing it well.
Over the nearly three years that Lucy had been working as a cleaner at the college’s dorms, she had become a sort of unofficial campus granny.
The students knew that if they had a problem and needed a shoulder to cry on, Lucy was there. When she noticed that a new student was struggling to adapt, Lucy went out of her way to make them feel at home.
One particularly miserable winter, several of the kids at the dorm caught a terrible flu that was doing the rounds and ended up bedridden for several days.
Lucy loved the kids and often helped them. | Source: Pixabay
Lucy had shown up after school hours with a hot thermos of chicken soup and babied them all. She gave them hot tea and toast, brought them orange juice, and basically played mom.
To many of the students, some away from home for the first time, Lucy was a godsend. Her ready smile and motherly teasing drew the shy out of their isolation and calmed the anxious.
Don’t despair, because life might just surprise you.
“Hey, Grandma Lucy,” cried Matthew Frost, one of the students who was just recovering. “Your chicken soup is a magic potion! Your children are very lucky.”
To Matthew’s surprise, Lucy’s eyes filled with tears, and her brilliant smile dimmed. “Oh, I have only one daughter, and she lives 3000 miles away in Arizona.”
Matthew was sick and Lucy brought him hot tea and chicken soup. | Source: Pexels
“Hey!” Matthew said, confused and concerned. “It’s nearly Thanksgiving, so you’ll be with her soon, right?”
But Lucy didn’t seem to feel comforted by Matthew’s comment. She pressed her hand to her mouth and ran out of the dorm room. She came back an hour later and her eyes were red and swollen. It was obvious she had been crying.
“I’m sorry, Lucy,” Matthew said. “Please tell me what is wrong. You’ve always been there for me. Remember when I wanted to switch courses and was afraid to tell my dad? Let me be a friend to you as you were to me.”
Lucy sat down at the feet of Matthew’s bed and cried. “I’m so sorry,” she said once she’d calmed down a little. “You see, I haven’t seen my daughter in over three years.”
Lucy told Matthew that she hadn’t seen her daughter in years. | Source: Pexels
“I can’t afford the trip, and she can’t afford to pay for me either. She has two babies and her husband is unemployed,” Lucy explained. “She needs help, and I can’t give it to her.”
Matthew held Lucy’s hand while she explained how she had lost all her savings and the pension fund to a scam, and why she had to work so hard at her age.
Matthew said, “Hey, you remember what you said to me when I was down? Life always surprises you, and every difficulty brings new strength. I believed it, now it’s your turn…”
Lucy walked out of Matthew’s room feeling oddly comforted, but as she was leaving the dorm, she saw one of the second-year students sitting on the steps crying, with a crumpled envelope in her hand.
“Liz!” Lucy said, immediately forgetting her own sorrows. “What’s the matter, honey?”
Lucy saw Liz sitting on the steps looking very sad. | Source: Unsplash
“Oh, Gran Lucy,” Liz sobbed. “I have to drop out. My scholarship only pays three-quarters of my expenses and the bank refused to extend my student loan. My parents are having a hard time, so they can’t help me either…”
“Oh dear,” Lucy said, sitting down next to Liz and putting an arm around her shoulder. “And you are doing so well too! When do you need that money?”
“Not until September,” Liz said. “But I can’t see how I’m going to get my hands on $15,000!”
“Well,” Lucy said firmly. “No more crying, Lizzie, my girl! Chin up! Something will turn up. Like I always say, life has a way of surprising us!”
Matthew had a brilliant idea. | Source: Unsplash
Lucy was right because, at that very moment, Matthew Frost was busy on his computer. He had a brilliant idea, and he was sure his fellow students would be eager to help bring about a miracle…
When Lucy went to the ATM to draw on her salary two months later, she had the fright of her life. The balance of her account was $364,563.
Lucy squinted. That couldn’t be right! She marched into the bank and asked the teller to give her a bank statement. There it was: $364,563.
“This is a mistake!” Lucy said to the teller. “You made a mistake. That’s not my money!”
“Mrs. Martin, the money was deposited into your account three days ago by a Mr. Matthew Frost…” the teller said. A flustered Lucy thanked the woman and ran out.
Lucy had quite a surprise when she checked her bank account. | Source: Pixabay
She went to the dorm, but Matthew was in class so she waited for him. There he was, walking along with his arm around a pretty girl! “Matthew!” Lucy hollered. “What is going on?”
Matthew walked over to Lucy with a huge grin on his face. “I see you’ve been to the bank…”
“But…but…” Lucy stammered. “Where did you get all that money?”
Matthew winked. “It was magic!” he said. “We started a Go-Fund-Me page, and every student in this college and their parents wanted to show you some love. $363,000 worth of love. You can visit your daughter, Lucy, you can help her, you can move to Arizona to be with her.”
Lucy shared her miracle with Liz. | Source: Pexels
Lucy had tears in her eyes. “You crazy kids!” she choked. “You’re crazy, crazy…” But even as she thanked Matthew, Lucy’s mind was working overtime.
Maybe, just maybe, this wonderful, magical windfall could help someone else! The next day, Lucy knocked on the door of Liz’s room, and in her hand was a check for $20,000.
“This is your share of my miracle,” Lucy told her. “Because you see, when life surprises you, you have to give back a little of that love…”
What can we learn from this story?
Don’t despair, because life might just surprise you. Lucy was stunned when her students raised money to help her retire and be with her daughter.
MIracles should be shared. Miracles are a little bit like chocolate ice cream — they are always better when you share, just like Lucy did with Liz.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about the owner of a prestigious restaurant who is outraged when he discovers that one of the cleaners is feeding her children scraps from the customer’s plates.