After Mom’s Death, Son Accidentally Finds His Childhood Pic with Her and Boy Who Looks Like Him — Story of the Day
A man visits his mother's house after her death and discovers an old photograph of her with a boy who resembles him. He decides to find the boy and learns a shocking secret about his mother's past.
While most people have emotional bonds to their childhood home and are generally unwilling to sell it, Ben Dixon was determined to get rid of his old property in Texas when his mother died. So just a week after the funeral, he contacted an agency to find purchasers, and to his surprise, he soon found a couple who was interested in buying the house.
Ben and his wife Cassandra traveled from New York that week to meet with the potential buyers. They'd been inspecting the house with the agent, Mr. Franklin, when Cassandra chanced upon one of his childhood albums.
"Hey, Ben," she called out. "Look at this. You were very adorable as a child! I'm curious whether there are any more albums here. I'd still advise you to reconsider selling the house, honey. It has your memories, after all."
Ben shrugged. "It's not like I had many happy memories here, Cassandra. Mom and I never spoke after I moved out. You know, I could never get her. She never told me about my father even after I kept begging her. I used to see other kids at baseball games with their dads, but I'd be sitting alone in one corner, thinking about my father."
"Oh, Ben," Cassandra gave him a hug. "I'm sure she had her reasons. You know she loved you. She provided you with a good education, helped you become a lawyer, and raised you single-handedly. I'm sure it wasn't easy for her to be a single mom, Ben. She wouldn't have done all of that if she didn't love you."
"Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Dixon," Mr. Franklin interrupted them. "Our guests are here. Shall we?"
"Oh sure, we're coming," Cassandra said, smiling. Then she turned to Ben. "There's no need to hurry, Ben, remember that. You can still refuse to sell the house. It's your decision at the end of the day."
"I'm going to sell the house, Cassandra. I don't want to stand here for another minute, believe me. And as for this album, well... I wish she had prioritized her son above these frivolous pursuits. Just put it back. We don't need that."
"No way, Ben. I'm keeping this! Our children should get to know how handsome their father was as a child."
"Fine, do whatever you want!" Ben shrugged and walked away.
Cassandra kept the album in her purse and did a final touch-up before meeting the new buyers. Their meeting lasted about an hour, during which they took a complete tour of the house and discussed the final price. When the meeting was finished, Ben and Cassandra decided to eat at a restaurant.
As they arrived, Ben told her to go ahead and he would park the car and join her. Cassandra stepped out of the car and walked away, not realizing she'd left her handbag in their car. Ben, thankfully, noticed it and grabbed it from her seat after he had parked the car.
Suddenly, the album fell from her purse and caught Ben's attention. "You actually took it, Cassandra? Seriously? You're still a child!" he sighed as he picked it up. But then his curiosity got the best of him, and he started flipping through the photographs. He glanced through all of the photos of him and his mother, and for a split second, he didn't notice when tears welled up in his eyes.
He wiped them off with his hand and began stuffing the album back in Cassandra's purse when he noticed something had fallen on the ground from the album. It appeared to be one of the photos, so he picked it up to put it back in the album, but when he examined it closely, he couldn't believe his eyes.
It was a snap of him and his mother with an unknown boy who looked exactly like him! "What the fish? Who is he?" Ben wondered. He flipped the picture over and noticed an inscription in cursive writing: "Ben and Ronnie, 1986."
"Who is Ronnie? And how did mom know him? Is he…No way! He can't be my brother!" Ben was perplexed. He hurried to the restaurant and showed the picture to Cassandra. She was shocked too.
"Jesus Christ, Ben! I swear he looks like your brother! Nobody would argue that he isn't!"
"I get that, but if he's really...why - why didn't mom tell me anything about him?"
"Slow down, Ben. We can try to locate him. That may be challenging, but it isn't impossible."
"Well, I have no choice, Cassandra. I want to know who this little boy is. I have to find him..."
That day, after returning from the restaurant, Ben tried searching for Ronnie on Facebook, but there was no success. None of the guys named Ronnie looked even close to him. So he went back to his mother's house and searched her wardrobe for the hospital records from where she had given birth.
It took some time, but he eventually found them. Sadly, the papers had become yellow, and he couldn't even clearly make out the hospital name. However, he made some guesses about the faded letters and found the hospital online, luckily.
He called the hospital authorities, but because a long time had passed since Mrs. Dixon's delivery, most of the hospital employees had changed, and they said they'd need some time to get back to him. Ben didn't have any patience for it, so he decided to go to the hospital.
He begged a nurse there to let him search the records in their storeroom once since it was urgent. When he started pleading like that, the nurse couldn't say no. She gave him an hour to search.
Ben feverishly searched through the records until he came across his mother's file. But once he started reading it, he couldn't stop crying.
The reports said his mother had given birth to two boys but left one of the children at the hospital, who was later sent to a neurological facility operated by the hospital. Ben couldn't believe his eyes! Ronnie was his brother! He collected the facility's address from the file and decided to see Ronnie.
When he arrived, though, he couldn't stop crying when he saw Ronnie. An exact replica of him was lying on the bed, surrounded by syringes and hospital meds. A nurse there revealed Ronnie's brain had some anomalies since birth resulting in memory issues and immature behavioral patterns.
"Do you know anything about the woman who left him here? I mean, he was brought here from a hospital, right?" Ben asked her.
"Well," the nurse said. "Our oldest nurse will be able to answer that."
She called nurse Julie, who revealed to Ben that their mother had abandoned Ronnie. "I was there when this boy came here. His mother came looking for him one evening. She found out the address from the hospital somehow, and she was hiding and looking at him, but I caught her. I think you were there too. She took you two by a lake nearby, and I clicked a picture for her. You two were very young. She told me she was a relative first, and then she told me her real story -- that she was his mother."
It turned out Mrs. Dixon had abandoned Ronnie as she was a single mother and couldn't afford to raise two children when her boyfriend had left her, especially when she knew Ronnie was a specially-abled one and would necessitate extra care.
After learning this, Ben decided he wouldn't abandon Ronnie. He brought him home, told the whole story to Cassandra, and she immediately nodded to Ben's request that they look after him for their entire life.
Ben was definitely upset that his mother had abandoned Ronnie, but the nurse's words were ringing in his ears. "She did it because her boyfriend had abandoned her."
"Perhaps that's why mom didn't tell me about our father, Ron. But don't worry, you won't be alone longer," he assured his brother, who was clapping his hands like a young child. "Your brother is here. And he will look after you until death separates us."
What can we learn from this story?
- Don't keep secrets from your children. If Mrs. Dixon had informed Ben about Ronnie, he would have taken him in sooner.
- Sometimes, we are compelled by our circumstances. Mrs. Dixon didn't want to abandon Ronnie, but she didn't have a choice because she could afford to raise only one child.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a grocery store owner who secretly follows a 5-year-old girl after she notices her collecting leftovers from the grocery store every day.
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