Elderly Woman Saves Money for Retirement, It Runs Out When She Turns 103 — Story of the Day
Annie Roberts loved to stay prepared. Roberts knew that it would be difficult to work once she got old, so she made sure to save up enough to get by during her sunset years. She, however, never imagined she'd live to be 102.
Annie Roberts was married to Stephen, a huge and phenomenal man with an infectious laugh and kindness that many people did not possess. They'd been married for years, and she was always afraid that she would outlive him.
Her fear was confirmed when a terrible disease with an equally awful name began to wear him down. That fateful day, Annie came out to the porch to find her husband dead on his favorite wooden chair.
Annie outlived her husband and son, and soon ran out of money | Photo: Shutterstock.com
Stephen was only 78. Annie's life was shattered, and for hours, she sat down and cried her heart out, unable to come to terms with the idea of being alone for the remaining part of her life.
Annie and Stephen had married young, right before the war against Hitler and his Nazis reached its peak. Stephen, then a young man in his early 20's, had been sent out to the war front.
The couple often agreed that they needed to save up for the future, and so, after Stephen left for the war, Annie took a job at a local textile factory. Once the war ended and Stephen returned home, he was uncomfortable with his wife working long hours.
He was a traditional man who felt that it was the man's duty to provide for his family. He wanted her to quit her job. Annie stood her ground and talked Stephen into letting her continue working.
Annie and her husband Stephen lived a happy life before he succumbed to his illness | Photo: Pexels
You see, she had a gift. She was a talented seamstress, and the factory wished to keep her on. Stephen relented, and she continued working long after they welcomed home their son, Luke. She deposited every penny in a bank account for their son's future.
On the other hand, Stephen was a self-taught bookkeeper, and he helped just about every business in town with their accounts. They were doing well for themselves and were even planning on getting a new car.
Meanwhile, Luke was all grown, and his father insisted that he go to the new car stand every day. He'd passed his driving classes and now had a driver's license.
He never got to purchase a car as a few days later, he received a letter asking him to fight for his country in the long-running Vietnam war. When his father read the letter from the government, he said, "My son, I fought for my country. Now is your turn to fight."
Annie and Stephen's son Luke left to fight in the Vietnam war. | Photo: Pexels
Luke figured he'd do what he had to and packed a small bag, and off he went. Unbeknownst to Annie and Stephen, that would be the last time they'd be seeing their son. Barely three years after he left, Annie received a rusty metallic box with Luke's remains.
Stephen was heartbroken and would cry his heart out whenever he thought Annie was not paying attention. Annie, however, was still in disbelief and did not, even once, mourn the loss of her son.
She went about her life as if nothing had happened, putting extra effort into her work at the factory. To her, running a machine and trimming threads made sense, unlike the remains of her son being posted to her in a metal box.
Luke died while at war | Photo: Pexels
For months, Annie withdrew, barely saying a word to her husband. Then one day, out of the blue, a long-time neighbor, Rosemary, stopped by, and as they got talking, she said, "Annie, I need a huge favor from you."
Without uttering a single word, Annie nodded. Rosemary's son Andrew had also perished in the war, and between the two women, there was a mutual understanding that did not require words.
"I need to go to Florida to check up on my daughter. This is Danny, Andrew's son. Will you look after him for a week?" Rosemary said. In one hand, Rosemary held on to a beautiful boy with raven black hair and ocean blue eyes.
Annie did not have to think twice about it. "Of course," she said, "bring his stuff over." Danny, only about three years old, just stood there without speaking or making a fuss. He was a quiet child.
Annie took care of Danny while his grandmother was away. | Photo: Pexels
Danny did everything he was told to do, never questioning or arguing. But he never once said a single word, and his silence started bothering Annie. She started humming to him, and when she hummed "Little White Doves," he started humming along.
He wore dirty and worn-out clothes, and Annie wondered what to do until she remembered she still had some of her son's clothes in a box somewhere. So she sent Stephen to collect the wooden box from the basement.
When Annie started fitting her son's old clothes on the boy, she noticed she'd become teary-eyed. Since her son's death, she cried her heart out for the first time. And while Danny never spoke a word, he lifted his tiny fingers and put them on Annie's cheek.
He then hugged her and also started crying. He still did not speak much after that, but the two shared a companionship they did not know they needed. Rosemary returned six months later, but the bond between Danny and Annie remained unbreakable even then.
After her husband's death, Annie found herself all alone |Photo: Pexels
The years flew by, and soon, Stephen retired and was walking around the house finding fault in everything. The couple had some good years, but then Stephen started getting sick.
One day, he called out to Annie and said, "Listen, I might not live much longer, so you have to take good care of yourself."
Being an accountant, he knew her savings and pension would provide a comfortable life for her, even after he was gone. "Our savings are enough to give you a good life for the next two decades or so," Stephen said.
However, what Stephen did not count on was Annie living to be more than 100 years old. Annie was now 103, and all her savings were gone. She still had bills to pay, and she did not know what to do.
Annie did not know what to do when her money ran out | Photo: Pexels
All her friends and family were no more. She was the eldest living soul in the small town on the mountains, and she did not know who to turn to. She kept receiving letters from the government, telling her to pay up house tax.
However, she did not have a penny to pay for her utilities, let alone taxes. Finally, out of ideas, she decided to talk to the milkman, Mr. Brooks, who'd delivered to her for decades.
"Mr. Brooks, please cancel my milk orders," Annie said.
"Why, Mrs. Roberts? Are you ordering in from a new milkman?"
She could no longer afford to pay for her milk | Photo: Pexels
She confessed she did not have any money to pay for the milk. Suddenly, Mr. Brooks had an idea. But he wouldn't let Annie in on it yet. A few days later, Annie strutted off to the bank and withdrew the last of her money to try and settle her due bills.
But when she told the cashier she wanted to pay her water bill, the lady behind the desk told her the invoice was already paid. "What do you mean? I didn't pay it!" Annie said, confused.
Annie almost went out of her mind when the same thing happened at the electricity company, then again as she went to pay her house taxes.
Annie withdrew the last of her money to try and settle some of her piling bills | Photo: Unsplash
"That's impossible! Who could have paid my bill?" Annie wondered.
"It was your grandson," said the man behind the desk. "One Mr. Daniel Preston. He is the Deputy Mayor."
Annie said she did not have a grandson and demanded to see him. "My only son perished in the Vietnam war," she added. Amid the chaos, Mr. Preston entered the room.
The man's raven black hair and blue eyes should have rung a bell for Annie, but she was old, and her memory was failing her. Annie asked him who he was and why he'd paid her bills, yet they did not know each other.
Annie did not recognize Mr. Daniel Preston as the little boy she'd helped so many years back | Photo: Pexels
Instead of answering, he began humming "Little White Doves," and it suddenly dawned on Annie that Mr. Preston was Rosemary's little grandchild, Danny. He then moved closer and held her frail arms in his.
"Mr. Brooks told me what happened. Don't worry, I will take care of you, just like you took care of me all those years back." Danny said.
He then sent out word about Annie's predicament, and once the story hit the town, people joined forces and contributed dollars upon dollars to help Annie, and soon, she had plenty of money in her account.
Annie is now famous in her small town and spends most of her time with Danny and his family. She is about to celebrate her 104th birthday, and the townspeople are looking forward to celebrating it with her.
What can we learn from this story?
- One good deed deserves another. Helping a little boy with clothing and shelter many years back may have seemed like a small act of kindness, but Danny repaid it with even more compassion in Annie's sunset years.
- Do good without expecting payment. Annie treated little Danny with kindness and did not expect anything in return, but life had plenty of surprises for her in her old age.
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