Jake saw his neighbor struggling to mow the lawn and stopped to help, with his three-year-old son in tow. The older woman was grateful for the help, and they started talking about life. Shortly after, he discovered that the older woman was not just appreciative. She was a miracle worker.
“We’re going to order some pizza when we get home tonight, buddy. What do you think?” Jake asked his son, Andy, who was sitting in his car seat playing with his tablet. The kid only hummed at his dad, and Jake sighed. They were coming home from the pediatric psychologist’s office, and he had no idea how he would afford the treatments Andy needed.
His son was affected by his mother’s death a year ago. He barely spoke, and Jake was so worried about his development. His primary caregiver suggested a psychologist, but Jake’s work insurance did not cover it, and the appointments would cost an additional $2,000 a month.
He sighed as he turned towards their street but slowed the car when he spotted Mrs. Nichols bending down and cutting her grass with a pair of gardening scissors.
Jake looked at the rearview mirror; his son was still concentrating on the tablet. “Hey, buddy. How about we help our neighbor mow her lawn?” he said, stopping the car altogether in front of the older woman’s house.
Finally, Andy looked up from his tablet, and Jake smiled. “Let’s go, buddy,” he said, getting out. He helped his son get down from the car, and they left his tablet.
“Mrs. Nichols! Do you need some help?” Jake asked as he walked towards the lady, holding his son’s hand.
“Oh! Jake, dear. Are you sure? I just don’t know how to work that darn lawnmower.” The older woman smiled, one hand holding her lower back as if she was in pain.
“You could’ve called me, Mrs. Nichols. I would’ve gladly helped, although we were out in town today,” Jake replied, smiling. “Where’s the lawnmower?”
“In the garage, dear. Hey, Andy. Why don’t you and I sit on my porch and have some cookies?” the older lady asked the little boy, who nodded. Jake thought he saw the hint of a smile at the mention of cookies, but he wasn’t sure.
Andy followed the lady and waited for her to bring out the cookies to the porch, while Jake went to the garage to get the lawnmower.
Her garden was seriously overgrown, so the work took a while, and at some point, Andy even came over and pretended to help. But he quickly went back to eat more cookies.
Mrs. Nichols patted Jake’s shoulder, startling him. “Hey, Jake. Andy fell asleep even with all this noise,” she said quietly. “How’s everything going for you guys?”
“Oh, well. It’s not easy, Mrs. Nichols. My wife’s death was… terrible for him. It’s amazing what kids can understand even at his age. We actually just got back from our first appointment with a child psychologist…,” Jake revealed. He quickly unloaded all of his current troubles, including the fact that he couldn’t afford the treatments.
“Is there no one who can help you? Loan you some money?” Mrs. Nichols asked.
“No. The rest of our family is struggling with money too. These are hard times, Mrs. Nichols,” Jake replied and finally finished working.
“Thank you for this dear. Why don’t you stay for dinner?” the older woman offered.
“No, ma’am. I promised Andy some pizza tonight, and I think he’s tired from today. Honestly, I’m tired too. But you’re always welcome. Call me when you need to mow your lawn again.”
He picked up his kid, got him settled in the car, and they went on their way home, which was only five houses away.
Mrs. Nichols waved them goodbye, but her lips were pursed the entire time.
A few days later, Jake received a call from an unknown number, and he frowned when he picked up. “Hello?”
“Mr. Collins? Jake Collins?” a male voice asked.
“This is Mr. Cohen. I’m a lawyer representing Mrs. Nichols in the sale of her current house,” the voice revealed.
Jake raised his eyebrows. “Oh, I didn’t know she was moving.”
“Yes, well. Mrs. Nichols finally got a buyer, and the sale is moving through quickly. I’m going to need your banking information,” the lawyer continued with a no-nonsense attitude.
“I don’t understand. What does that sale have anything to do with me?”
“Mrs. Nichols didn’t tell you? She’s giving you $100,000 from the profits of the sale. Like an “inheritance,” but she wants you to receive it immediately,” Mr. Cohen explained, and Jake’s jaw dropped.
“I… that’s so generous,” he breathed to the phone, and suddenly his bell rang. Mrs. Nichols was right outside with a wide smile. Jake signaled that he was on the phone.
“Yes, it is. Anyway, please send me the details as soon as possible, and we can proceed with the transfer. Thank you,” the lawyer finished and hung up.
Before Mrs. Nichols could say a word, Jake went right up to her and hugged her tightly, his eyes filled with tears. She patted his back for a long time.
They talked for hours that day, and Jake thanked her profusely. He also promised to visit her where she went, and she laughed.
The money went to Andy’s treatment, and eventually, the young boy started to improve. By the time he began pre-school, the was talking again, laughing, and playing with others. Jake knew none of that would’ve happened without Mrs. Nichols’ help.
What can we learn from this story?
- Helping others can change your life. Jake stopped to help the old lady mow her lawn despite all his worries, and he received a huge gift in return.
- Kids are more intuitive and smarter than you think. Some parents make the mistake of thinking their kids are not affected until a certain age, but they absorb so much. Luckily, Jake got Andy the treatment he needed.