The man had kept the photo framed on his working table and accidentally dropped it, but he was able to save the photograph. When he flipped the picture over in his hands, he discovered an odd inscription behind it, revealing that the woman in the picture was not his mother.
Connor was very close to his mother, Heather, since he was a toddler, so when she died in a house fire six years ago, he was devastated. His maternal grandparents were wealthy and had left him a large inheritance, but he didn't want to be the "boy born with a silver spoon" and relocated to New Jersey, where he started his own business.
Unfortunately, Connor was at an important business meeting in New Jersey when the tragedy happened, and when he returned home, all he saw were burnt remains in the place of their house and his mother lying lifeless on a white sheet in the ambulance. He cried his heart out like a child to see her gone, but nothing would change.
Connor lost his mother in a house fire. | Source: Unsplash
After Heather's burial, Connor returned to the burnt house to retrieve her belongings before reconstructing the property for sale, and it was there that he discovered an old framed picture of them -- or that's what he thought.
Connor remembered Heather keeping it beside her bedside, so he brought it to work with him and placed it on his work table. He would look at the picture every day and remember Heather, who had gone above and beyond for him after his father died of cancer when he was young.
Unfortunately, while working one day, Connor accidentally pushed the photograph with his elbow, causing it to fall to the floor and its glass frame to shatter. He instantly kneeled down to clear the glass shards and save the photograph.
However, as he turned the picture in his hands after separating it from the damaged frame and pulling it from the backboard, he discovered a weird message behind it.
"Judy and Kevin, 1983," it said in blurred handwriting.
Connor kept the photo in his office room. | Source: Pexels
Connor was confused. "Why does the picture say Judy and Kevin? I thought it was Mom and me!"
He examined the photograph carefully and was sure that the woman in the picture was his mother. But when he looked at the boy's face in the image, he realized it wasn't him. They did look alike to some extent, but it wasn't him.
At this point, Connor was bewildered. Who was that little boy? What was he doing with his mother, and why was she named Judy? He wanted answers, so he began looking for Judy on social media.
"Oh, where...where did you get this," she asked, her voice shaking.
After a few searches, he stumbled across an account of a woman named Judy Stein who resembled his mother. He couldn't get any information about her from there because her profile was locked. As a result, he searched for a Kevin Stein and just Kevin, but he couldn't discover any profiles that were even remotely close to or looked like the youngster in the image.
Connor decided to continue his search for Judy, and after checking her address in a public (people-finding) database, he discovered three Judy Steins that lived in his current town and one in his hometown.
Connor looked up Judy's information on Facebook. | Source: Unsplash
Connor took down the addresses and took a day off to find out what was happening. Fortunately, the first two addresses were in the central part of town, close to his office, so he didn't take much time to visit them. However, the women he met weren't the Judy he was looking for.
Dejected, Connor went to his town's last location, and this time he stopped by a run-down cabin on the outskirts. As Connor parked his car and approached the cottage, he took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
"Hello? Is anyone home?" he called out. There was no answer.
Connor knocked once again. "Hello?" he repeated. "Is there anyone home?"
Suddenly, the front door creaked open, and a man nearly his age emerged from inside in a wheelchair. "Yes?" he asked. "How can I help you?"
Connor was greeted by a man in a wheelchair. | Source: Pexels
Connor was shocked as he stared at the man, who appeared to be an older version of Kevin. "Kevin?" he blurted out. "This is Judy Stein's address, right?"
"Of course it is," he replied. "My name is Kevin, and I'm her son."
Connor had never been so confused in his entire life. "What the hell is even happening?" he thought to himself. "Well, Kevin…." he said after a pause. "I'd like to meet Judy. Can I please see her? I'm Connor, by the way."
"May I ask you why, though? You look pretty shocked, and your brows are sweating. What's the matter?"
"Oh, it's nothing serious," Connor shrugged it off. "Just wanted to ask her something. May I?"
"Fine, come on in," Kevin sighed as he brought him inside.
Connor followed Kevin inside the cottage. | Source: Unsplash
Stepping inside, Connor was taken aback when he spotted a flesh-and-blood duplicate of his own mother. She smiled as she emerged from the kitchen, drying her hands on a towel.
"Hey, mom. This is Connor. He wanted to ask you something," Kevin told her.
Judy gave him a pleasant grin. "Yes? How may I help you, Connor?"
Connor was too stunned to speak. He showed the photograph to Judy, and her eyes suddenly welled up. "Oh, where...where did you get this?" she asked, her voice shaking.
"I'm Heather's son," he explained. "I can't believe the picture I assumed for years was of me and my mother isn't. How do you two look so similar?"
"Oh, dear," she gasped, covering her mouth in shock. "You are Heather's son? How is she? Does she…" she paused. "Did she never tell you anything about me?"
"Sadly, she's no more, Judy. She died 6 years ago in a house fire, and yes, I have no clue who you are!" he revealed.
Connor met Judy. | Source: Unsplash
"Oh no, that's terrible," she said sadly. "Please have a seat, Connor. There's something you should be aware of."
As Connor settled on the living room sofa, Judy told her heartbreaking story to him, and he couldn't believe what he was hearing.
It turned out Judy and Heather were identical twin sisters. Judy was a rebel, so after divorcing the man her parents had married her to, she took their kid, Kevin, and moved in with her college love, Jack.
Judy and Heather's parents were never supportive of their relationship because Jack was poor. Even Heather didn't approve of Jack, and they all cut ties with Judy. They believed Judy's relationship with a poor man had brought dishonor to their family. However, Judy married him, and they had a beautiful life together until she lost him a few years ago.
After Jack's death, Kevin was forced to become the man of the house, and he got a job as a construction site worker. Sadly, one day while working there, he injured his leg and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since, so Judy had to work to support both of them.
"I never expected to see any of my family members again," Judy said sadly. "I wrote her once, and that's when I sent her this photograph. She never wrote back to me, but I think she did miss me. Either way, I'm glad I got to meet my nephew. You do resemble your mother!" she said, smiling through tears.
Judy and Heather were twin sisters. | Source: Pexels
Connor felt terrible for Judy. She had done nothing wrong, yet she suffered so much. He felt awful that even his mother had abandoned her and decided to make it up to her and Kevin.
"I'm sorry for what happened, Judy," Connor told her. "I feel bad that even mom didn't help you out. Please accept my apologies on her behalf. I'd be happy to help you in any manner I can; just let me know."
"Oh," Judy said, her eyes welling up with tears. "It's all right, Connor. I don't blame your mother for her choices... We all have the right to choose what we want to do, and what she did was her decision... So I never held any grievance against her. She was my sister, after all."
Connor, on the other hand, insisted that he felt horrible and wanted to help them. Judy was apprehensive at first, but as he insisted, she caved.
Connor rented a new home for Judy and Kevin and assisted Kevin in finding work so that Judy would not be forced to work. He also granted Kevin an equal share of their grandparents' inheritance left to him. Judy and Kevin were overwhelmed with gratitude for Connor, and they are now a happy family.
What can we learn from this story?
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