A mom who had lost her son 57 years ago was frozen stiff when she saw him on TV on a random comedy show. Her tears didn't stop flowing to see her son alive, but she soon realized he was in BIG trouble.
Life truly puts some people to the test, and that's precisely what happened with Erin Johnson 50 years ago.
Erin was stunningly gorgeous and worked as a nurse at a small hospital in Ojai, California. Her husband Pete worked as an orderly at the same hospital, and their love story was unlike any other.
Pete and Erin initially met while performing an emergency delivery of a woman whose water broke on the hospital stairwell. The baby was born healthy, and Pete and Erin's love story began just as the baby started its new life.
Pete and Erin started seeing each other, fell in love, got married, and welcomed baby Adrian three years later. Life was happy and perfect, they thought, until Pete died in a car crash.
Pete and Erin were madly in love. | Source: Unsplash
Erin's life fell apart once she lost Pete. She'd been widowed at a young age and didn't know how she'd deal with everything on her own. But having Adrian gave her optimism that life would be better. So for the child's sake, she tried to pull herself together and start over.
Adrian, who was only three years old when Erin lost Pete, was an exact replica of his late father. He was also as sweet and generous as Pete but a bit of a mischievous child. He once injured himself while attempting to save a sick dog that was about to tumble into a ditch. In the process, he fell on his face on the road and got a scar that stretched from his cheek to the neck.
While Erin was happy her son was doing the right thing, she was terrified whenever Adrain got even in the smallest of troubles. She'd lost Pete and couldn't afford to lose Adrain too. But then fate intervened!
Erin took Adrian to a carnival for his fourth birthday. There were plenty of rides and games to choose from, and Adrian was pretty excited. They spent the whole day together, walking around the fair and trying out different kinds of cotton candies, popcorn, hotdogs, and much more! By evening, Adrian was tired, and he asked Erin to get him some water.
They proceeded to a stall to get a bottle of water, but there was a huge crowd, so she told Adrian to wait for her at a nearby bench.
Erin took Adrian to a carnival for his 4th birthday. | Source: Unsplash
Erin kept checking on Adrian, but when her turn came, she became preoccupied with purchasing the water, and at the same time, a stampede broke out in the fair. People were dispersing everywhere, desperately trying to save their lives as several hooligans attacked random shops.
Erin turned around immediately when she heard people screaming and couldn't see Adrian. She made her way through the crowd to the bench, but Adrian wasn't there.
"Adrian!... Adrian!" she shouted as she looked around. However, there was no point. The noise drowned out her screams.
Erin panicked and looked around, but she couldn't see Adrian. She hid behind the bench as she noticed the hooligans approaching her. When they passed, she searched the entire fair for Adrian but couldn't find him.
Sobbing uncontrollably, she immediately called the police and notified them of the situation at the fair and that a child – her son – was missing. Police officers responded quickly and dealt with the situation, but Adrian was not found.
Sadly, Erin couldn't find Adrian. | Source: Unsplash
Erin did everything she could to find him in the days that followed. Newspaper advertising, pamphlets, everything, yet Adrian was never found. After a few months of trying to locate him, even the police closed the case.
Several years went by. Erin lived in the same house for 57 years, hoping her son would return one day. Even after five decades, she hadn't given up hope.
"Why did you call me Adrian? I remember the name from my childhood!"
However, the Erin everyone in her neighborhood remembered as a happy, merry woman was now a desolate woman, her face etched with wrinkles and her eyes covered with huge dark circles.
She lived the life of a recluse. Her daily routine consisted of walking around the neighborhood and re-sticking Adrian's posters that had fallen off or been removed from the wall. Then she'd make herself a cup of tea and watch TV in the evening.
One evening, around 5 p.m., Erin was watching a variety show where a comedian was invited as the chief guest. Erin took a sip of her tea calmly as the emcee invited the comic on stage. But as she looked at the comedian's face, her teacup slipped from her grasp and fell to the floor, and her eyes suddenly welled up.
She rubbed her eyes twice and pinched herself as the camera focused on the comedian's face. His deep eyes, smile, and the scar on his face were exactly like Adrian's.
The comedian looked exactly like Adrian would have when he grew up. | Source: Unsplash
"This…This can't be real," she whispered, struggling to keep her tears at bay. "It's Adrian! He HAS to be Adrian!" she cried.
Tears streamed down her cheeks as she covered her mouth with her palms. The comedian was introduced as Henry Bruce, but Erin knew he HAD to be Adrian. A mother's heart would never fail to recognize her child. Besides, Henry looked like a carbon copy of Pete!
Erin hastily dialed the number of the TV station that appeared at the bottom of the screen. Meanwhile, Henry had begun his performance. He was speaking into the microphone when Erin noticed something strange. Henry wanted to laugh but couldn't. In fact, his smile was lopsided, and his face was drooping.
"He's having a stroke!" she yelled. "Pick up the phone!" she cried out to her receiver, realizing Henry needed immediate help. Then Henry slumped unexpectedly, and the show was stopped mid-air.
Erin dialed the TV station's number immediately. | Source: Unsplash
Fortunately, someone had answered Erin's call by then. "Take him to the hospital right away! He's having a stroke...I was watching your show. I'm a nurse. Please text me the hospital information when your chief guest is admitted. He — " she gathered some courage before saying, "He is my son! Please look after him until I arrive!" she screamed without a pause.
"What? oh, okay, ma'am!" replied the man on the other end of the line. He took Erin's phone number and notified her about the hospital once Henry was transferred there.
After getting the address, Erin quickly took a bus, but the hospital was far away, and she couldn't get there before 8 p.m. When she arrived, she dashed to Henry's room and saw him unconscious through the round glass in the door. She was about to enter when Henry's manager stopped her, asking for her identity. Luckily, the man who received Erin's call earlier was there and she was allowed to see Henry but only for five minutes after he explained how she had notified them about Henry's condition.
Erin thanked them as she walked into Henry's room and sat at his bedside, clutching his hands, remembering their past. "Adrian, you'll be alright soon," she whispered, her eyes welling up. "I am here. I will never leave you again."
Henry didn't gain consciousness that day, so the next day, she visited him again, and this time, his eyes opened, and he glanced around. "Mo - moth - mother..." he struggled to say aloud.
"Please go slowly...Are you feeling better?" the doctor who was with Erin asked. "You'll have some trouble speaking for a while. But can you try to say something for us?"
Henry tried but failed.
Henry's touch reminded Erin of the young Adrian. | Source: Pexels
The doctor examined him immediately and said, "He will be well in a few days, but his speech will require therapy to return to normal. Incredibly, he said 'mother' as his first word. He must love you a lot! Please allow him to rest now."
"I'm right here, Adrian," Erin assured him as she got up to leave. "I will come again soon..."
But as she was leaving, he began to cry and grabbed her hand.
"Would you like to say something?" the doctor asked.
Henry nodded, teary-eyed, so the doctor gave him a sheet of paper, and he scribbled a message.
"Why did you call me Adrian? I remember the name from my childhood!"
Erin burst into tears as she read the message. "You are Adrian! I was right! Do you remember when I lost you when you were four years old? No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find you! You are my son...Adrian!"
He nodded tearfully and managed to scribble another message.
Henry communicated his thoughts through writing. | Source: Pexels
In the message, he wrote that his parents told him he was adopted many years ago. He only remembered his name when they picked him up from the side of the road and adopted him.
They claimed he was racing after a balloon seller and was about to be hit by a car if they hadn't intervened. He was too young to remember anything, but he did recall his name. He also said that he tried to learn more about his childhood but didn't know where to begin. He tried for a time, then gave up when nothing came of it. In the end, he wrote that he lost his adoptive parents two years ago.
Erin was in tears. "I will be eternally grateful to them for raising you so wonderfully. I am glad to have you back! I am so happy!"
Erin visited Henry/Adrian every day from that day until he was discharged.
Once he was released, Erin moved in with him.
Now a grandfather and a widower after losing his wife to cancer, Adrian introduced Erin to his family - his only daughter who was married and living abroad with her husband – and Erin was warmly welcomed. She was sad to have missed so many years of life with her son but happy to be with him again.
Once, Adrian was invited to the same show again, and he told the story of how he was reunited with his mother. Everyone in the audience was in tears.
What can we learn from this story?
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