A man is eager to take in his late son's young son, but thirty-one years later, he learns that he was deceived -- the man he raised as his grandson was not related to him.
Jared Campbell had a lot of regrets. He was a bitter and unhappy man. His wife had passed away, and shortly after that, he had quarreled with his only son, Peter, and hadn't seen him in over fifteen years.
Jared had tried to reach out to his son, but no one knew where he was. He seemed to have vanished from the face of the earth. Then one afternoon, a boy knocked on Jared's door and turned his life upside down.
A strange boy knocked on Jared's door. | Source: Unsplash
"Hello," the boy said politely. "Are you Jared Campbell?"
"Yes," Jared answered gruffly. "What do you want?"
"My father asked me to bring you this," the boy said and held up a narrow gold pendant.
Family is about love, not biology.
Jared felt his heart constrict and he snatched the pendant out of the boy's hands. He knew this pendant! His wife had given it to Peter on his eighteenth birthday! "Where did you get this?" Jared demanded.
"My father gave it to me," the boy repeated, and his eyes filled with tears. "He said you'd take care of me."
"Your father..." Jared stared at the boy. "Who is your father?"
The boy had a pendant that had belonged to Jared's son. | Source: Unsplash
"My father was Peter Campbell," the boy said and pressed his lips together to stop himself from crying. "He died. He said...you'd want me...Do you?"
Jared looked down at the slender boy, his chin held up bravely, fighting back tears, and his heart melted. "I want you," he said. "Come in, boy. You're home."
The boy, his name was Tim, told Jared that Peter had been terribly hurt in a car accident, and as he was dying in his hospital bed, he'd told his son that he had a grandfather.
"Take this," he'd said. "Go to him, tell him you are my son... Tell him I loved him always..."
As Jared listened to Tim's story, he wept for his son, and for all the wasted years they had spent apart.
"What about your mother?" Jared asked.
Jared's son Peter had been injured in a car accident and passed away. | Source: Unsplash
Tim shrugged. "I don't remember my mother," he said. "She left eleven years ago when I was two years old. Dad brought me up on his own. I guess I'm alone now."
"No," Jared said. "You have me, and I have you, and we're going to be alright." And they were. Jared was a better father to Tim than he had ever been to Peter. Since he was retired he had time, and he spent it all with his grandson.
The two discovered they had a passion in common, and that was fishing. "My boy," Jared would say. "I always wanted a little house by the sea so I could take my fishing rod down to the ocean every afternoon, but your grandmother wanted to live in the country...
"Fishing in the rivers is just not as exciting!"
The years sped by and Tim grew up fast. He was a bright, hardworking young man and he did well in college. When he finished his studies, he joined an engineering firm where his creativity and his ingenuity led to a quick promotion. By the time he was forty-four, he was a wealthy and successful man.
Tim and Jared shared a passion for fishing. | Source: Unsplash
One day, he called Jared. "Grandpa," he said. "It's your birthday next week and I'd like to take you out to lunch."
Jared, who was now eighty-three, but spry and active, agreed immediately. But Tim didn't take him to lunch. Instead, he drove out onto the highway and headed east.
"Where are we going, boy?" asked Jared, bewildered. "We've been driving for an hour, and I don't see any restaurants, not even a diner!"
Tim grinned. "Don't you worry, we're nearly there!" he said.
Half an hour later, they drove through a picturesque village, and suddenly, before them was the sea. Tim stopped in front of a small cottage about a hundred meters from the beach.
Tim graduated top of his class. | Source: Unsplash
"Out you get, old man!" Tim said. "You're home!"
Jared was stunned. He climbed out and walked towards the door Tim had opened. The cottage was cozy and charming, and over the fireplace was a brand new set of fishing rods!
"It's yours, grandpa," Tim said tenderly. "I know you've always wanted to have a place by the sea. Now we can come down and do ocean fishing whenever you want!"
Jared started weeping, and Tim put his arms around him. "I have something to tell you," he said quietly. "I hope you understand, and I hope you forgive me..."
"Son," Jared said. "I love you, nothing is going to change that!"
Tim bought Jared a cottage by the sea. | Source: Unsplash
Tim took a deep breath and looked into Jared's eyes. "I lied to you. Peter wasn't my father. He had an auto shop that rebuilt vintage sports cars. My father was a mechanic and he worked for Peter. They became best friends.
"I grew up in that auto shop, and Peter was my hero. What I said about my mother leaving us was true, Jared. One day, I broke curfew and my dad told me I couldn't go with him and Peter to test drive a new car.
"I was lucky. They had an accident and my dad was killed. Peter was injured, and there was nothing they could do for him. He knew he was dying, and he gave me the pendant. He said you were alone too.
"Peter said you needed me as much as I needed you. He said you were a wonderful father and would be an even better grandfather. Peter said you'd believe I was his son, and you did.
Jared and Tim were the best of friends. | Source: Unsplash
"You've given me everything, you've made me the man I am, and if I'm a success, it's because of you."
Jared had tears running down his face. "Bless you, Tim!" he said. "You and Peter gave me a wonderful gift. Do you know how Peter knew I'd believe you were my grandson? Because you have his determination, his courage, and his kindness. Having you in my life has been a privilege."
Tim hugged his grandfather. "Well," he said with a grin. "I suppose since we're not blood kin, you will refuse the cottage?"
"What?" cried Jared. "And miss out on all that fishing? Not a chance."
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